The forthcoming Westminster election is a send a clear message to the Tories from all parties in the north against austerity and any attempts to erode the rights of local people.
Daisy Mules from Derry Trades Union Council told those gathered at the May Day rally in Derry on Saturday that it was important to remember what rights were all about.
“Rights are in essence are about equality,” she said. “It is not about special treatment, or people being treated differently. It is about people being treated with dignity and respect.
“For centuries people have struggled for their basic rights, rights that through years of struggle and campaigning were hard one. It is those rights people now take for granted.
“There are many people across the world who do not have access to those basic rights. We stand here in solidarity with them and give them our continued support.”
She said that closer to home there had been repeated attempts to undermine those hard-won basic rights.
Daisy Mules said the Tory government in Westminster seemed determined to attack those rights, repeal the Human Rights act and ignore the democratic rights of the people of the north on Brexit.
“That is not equality,” she said, adding: “We have also seen repeated attempts by the local allies of the Tories deny rights and equality to large sections of the community, for many women and our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
“They would also attempt to deny our right to have our vote respected when it comes to how we see our future in Europe.
“Any attempt to deny people their basic rights whether it happens internationally or on this island is wrong and should be strongly resisted.
“Equality means ending exploitation at work; it means being able to join a trade union. It means ending gender pay differences; it means creating equal opportunities for members of trade unions; it means earning enough to be able to support yourself and your family.
“Economic discrimination in terms of investment in this city and the north west must be challenged.
“Economic marginalisation, particularly in terms of zero hour contracts must be challenged.
“Inequality in wage structures must be challenged, and the lack of representation of women at senior levels of public service and industry must be challenged.”
The rally was brought to a close with a rendition of ‘The Internationale’ by Eileen Webster, before the JayDee Brass Band from Holland led those gathered on a march through the city centre.