The Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne, Stephen Lloyd, will be lobbied on Thursday (11 April), as Unite intensifies its campaign in the run-up to MPs voting on the future of the Agricultural Wages Board.
Unite activists will be driving home their message for the Agricultural Wages Board’s retention, which protects the incomes of 150,000 agricultural workers, of which there are an estimated nearly 2,000 in East Sussex and about 4,000 in West Sussex.
On Thursday members of Unite’s agricultural and rural workers’ national committee will be presenting a letter to the MP’s office calling for him to oppose the Agricultural Wages Board’s abolition – which, Unite, the largest union in the country, warns will bring poverty wages to the countryside.
Unite members will assemble outside the constituency office at 100 Seaside Parade, Eastbourne, BN21 3PF at 10.00, when the letter will be delivered.
Unite national officer for agriculture Julia Long said: “Stephen Lloyd is being lobbied as he is one of the key group of Liberal Democrats that could scupper this retrograde step being promoted by their coalition partners.
“The crunch vote on the Agricultural Wages Board is 16 April – when MPs vote on whether to maintain the board which has been effective in the last 65 years in protecting the incomes of some of the lowest paid workers in the country.
“Unite will be campaigning strongly in the run-up to the vote to retain the AWB. Supermarkets and the growers, who supply them, are behind the Agricultural Wages Board ’s abolition proposal as they want to drive down workers’ wages to poverty levels.”
Unite is lobbying intensively in the run-up to Tuesday 16 April, when MPs will vote on a government amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform bill. The union has said that 60 per cent of responses to the government’s consultation on the AWB’s future were in favour of its retention.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.