Unite, the largest union in the UK, has welcomed a move by the Welsh Assembly to reject a legislative consent motion that would have set the foundation for the UK government’s abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales.
In 2010 the UK government published proposals to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) covering workers in England and Wales through its powers under the Public Bodies Act. But in an effort to avoid consultation and consent from the Welsh government, it changed tack last month and is now pressing ahead with abolition through amending the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform bill.
Unite national officer for agriculture Julia Long said: “It is refreshing to see that one government – the Welsh government – is standing up for agricultural workers. We applaud the actions of those members of the Welsh Assembly who voted against consent to abolish the AWB. There is still time to stop the abolition of the AWB and for the UK government and parliament to do the right thing.”
Unite Wales secretary Andy Richards said: “The actions of the UK government in attempting to abolish the AWB for England and Wales has not only demonstrated its total disregard for the well being of rural workers but for the devolution settlement as a whole. We welcome the support from the Welsh government and Assembly and we will continue to work to ensure a fairer future for our members in agriculture.”
The Welsh Assembly voted yesterday (29 January) to reject the legislative consent motion and the Welsh agricultural minister has now written to Defra to ask that Wales be excluded from the legislation.
For further information contact Unite Wales communications co-ordinator Hannah Blythyn on 07980 237694
- 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.