Union plea on agricultural workers’ pay

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Ministers were yesterday urged to allow more time to consider the future of a board which sets the wages of thousands of agricultural workers amid claims that its abolition would plunge 150,000 people towards poverty.

Unite said a Government consultation on the future of the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) should be extended into next year instead of closing on November 12.

National officer Matt Draper said: “In just a few weeks, the fate of the measures that have contributed to the sustainment of rural life for some 100 years could be sealed.

“Some 154,000 people’s working lives will be directly affected along with others in the rural economy whose terms and conditions mirror those of AWB workers.”