Around 2000 people marched on Sunday in the Hunter Workers annual May Day Rally.
The rally marked 128 years of May Day celebrations in the Hunter region, which began in 1894.
The annual event commemorates the achievements and contributions of workers, past and present.
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"Whether you are nurses, construction workers, retail workers, transport workers, all workers across our region. You build our communities, you create our wealth, you provide the opportunities for our communities and our families to prosper," said Hunter Workers secretary Leigh Shears.
The annual event also allowed workers to voice their demands in a day of protest and political demonstration, ahead of the federal election.
"In 2022 nearly one million workers are working multiple, insecure jobs to put food on the table. We are often in casual jobs, working permanent conditions. Our aged care sector is in crisis, with 90 per cent of the workforce working insecure jobs. The cost of everything is going up and our wages are going down," said Mr Sheers.
"They import our steel and offshore our jobs. We are working more for less and less. We need a nation that builds things, we need secure jobs, we need a government that properly funds our services like education and health, and backs our institutions like TAFE and universities. We need a government that rewards working people."
Hunter Workers Women's Committee chair Leanne Holmes said they are also calling on the government to address issues for women in the workforce.
"In 2022 women make up 50 per cent of the population, and nearly 50 per cent of the workforce," said Ms Holmes.
"Yet, we earn on average about $480 less than Australian men. We retire with about half the amount of super. We are over represented in insecure casual work.
"My mum is here today who has cared for my 100-year-old nan for the last 20 years until she had to go into care last year. Now my mum had to go back into the workforce in aged care for just $21 an hour. We are sick of the platitudes."
Federal member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said women's issues in the workforce will be a priority for Labor ahead of the federal election.
"We need to work seriously to address the gender pay gap in Australia," said Ms Claydon.
"It is growing, it is going the wrong way. All the statistics are telling us what is wrong. All those women who are working their guts out in the health care sector, child care, and aged care are amongst the poorest paid people in Australia, doing the most important jobs. If you are going to do the same job, you are entitled to the same pay."
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Tim Ferguson said the government also needs to prioritise education to fill the jobs of the future.
"We need to ensure that through rebuilding manufacturing, we continue to train and pass on the skills of existing industries, through quality apprenticeships and upskill workers into new emerging industries through a properly funded TAFE system that continues to be fully owned by the public, for the public," said Mr Ferguson.
"Newcastle used to be the industrial powerhouse of NSW and Australia, building ferries, trains and busses, in addition to manufacturing steel and having one of the best coal regions in Australia to power these industries. There was and still is no reason we should ever have to buy any of these things from overseas."
Senator Tony Sheldon also spoke at the rally, calling on people to fight for secure work ahead of the federal election.
"For the first time in Australia's history we are about to give our kids worse than what was passed to us," Mr Sheldon said.
"During the enquiry to job security we saw that more than 50 per cent of jobs in this country do not receive leave entitlements. We saw the second largest employer in the country is Uber with 120,000 workers with no rights, no minimum wage, no workers compensation. We saw the same type of gig work now going into the caring industry."
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