Unite members campaign at Westminster to save Agricultural Wages Board


Rural workers will today descend on Westminster to raise awareness of the plight of more than 150,000 agricultural workers.

From all over the UK rural workers, some dressed as scarecrows, are travelling to London to lobby MPs in a bid to persuade them to back their campaign which has one objective – to maintain the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB).

They are extremely concerned at government plans to abolish the AWB, a body which has supported rural workers for generations and was set up specifically to protect this vulnerable group of workers. Unite believes that this goes to show that the Tory-led government is completely out of touch with the countryside.

Unite national officer Cath Speight said: “According to the government’s own estimates, returning back to the statutory sick and annual leave payments alone, could potentially take over £9 million a year out of workers’ pockets.

“This will be very unwelcome news to many of our members, who are already struggling to survive in the face of rising costs and higher food prices. Many have already been told by employers that should the AWB be abolished, their wages will be forced down – this is unacceptable and we can not allow this to happen.

“During this present climate, where people are worried about food production, food security and food supplies, it is astonishing that this government has chosen to attack the very workers who we rely on to maintain supplies and production.”

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