Public sector workers in Wythenshawe are joining more than a million across the country on strike over pensions, job cuts and pay.
Some schools will be closed in the strike – the biggest since the coalition government took power in 2010 – involving teachers, firefighters, civil servants and local government workers.
In a message to workers across the public sector on strike, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Across the public sector workers are on strike today to say enough is enough. Year after year pay has failed to keep up with the cost of living. Public sector workers are on average more than £2,000 worse off under this government.
“Nearly half a million local government workers earn less than the living wage. But even as the economy starts to grow, ministers have told them that the pay cap will last until at least 2018.
“This is why today’s strikers deserve public support. They are saying that ordinary workers should not be locked out of the recovery, and that we should all get a fair share as the economy grows again.”
The TUC says that since the government took office, a combination of pay freezes and below inflation pay increases have left local government workers, NHS staff, teachers, firefighters, civil servants and other public servants on average £2,245 worse off in real terms.
Government Minister Francis Maude condemned the strikes, saying that although he recognised public sector workers are facing tough times, the government has to have pay restraint to tackle the deficit.
Prime Minister David Cameron said a future Conservative government will take action to ensure strikes will only be legal if they are supported by a majority of the total membership of a union – a move criticised by unions who point out the current government was elected by just 38 per cent of the electorate.
Strikers across Manchester will meet at 12:30pm in Piccadilly Gardens for a rally featuring a range of trade union speakers.