TRADE unionists in Huddersfield are backing a rally to spotlight manufacturing job losses in Yorkshire.
Thousands of workers are expected to take part in the rally and march on Saturday at Victoria Gardens, Leeds.
The event will call on the Government to do more to support manufacturing before job losses reached a "critical mass" and the sector collapsed completely.
Bob Stoker, Huddersfield TUC secretary, said manufacturing jobs declined by 17.2% in Yorkshire and Humber between 1997 and 2002.
Household names such as BAE Systems, BP, Heinz, KP Foods and Vickers had all either withdrawn from the region or considerably reduced their Yorkshire operations.
A string of Huddersfield textile and engineering firms have also axed jobs or closed completely in that time.
But Mr Stoker said manufacturing still accounted for 20% of UK output, employed 14% of the country's workforce and generated £150bn a year in exports.
He said: "Yorkshire and Humber has always depended for its prosperity on manufacturing - and the sector remains crucial for our region.
"Without Government support for manufacturing, our future is threatened."
The rally has been organised by private sector union Amicus, which represents thousands of workers in Yorkshire in industries such as engineering, chemicals and food processing.