The Liberal Democrat MP for Norwich South, Simon Wright, 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 about 24,000 in the east of England and an estimated 6,000 in Norfolk itself.
On Thursday Unite members will be presenting a letter to the office of Simon Wright 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 and supporters, with a traditional horse and cart at their head, will gather at 13.30 in Carrow Road, Norwich, departing at 14.00.
They will proceed through the city, eventually arriving at 2 Douro Place where a letter will be presented to Simon Wright’s office at about 15.00.
Unite national officer for agriculture Julia Long said: “Simon Wright 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 Agricultural Wages Board. 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 Agricultural Wages Board’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.