Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Councillor Grant Davey, Labour’s Leader at Northumberland County Council, added:

Labour launches rural campaign to save the Agricultural Wages Board and guarantee workers wages in Northumberland

The House of Lords will be voting on Wednesday 6 March to scrap the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) as an amendment to the part of the Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill.

The AWB gives a guaranteed level of wage over and above the national minimum wage. The abolition will affect 1790 workers in Northumberland and 3,360 across the North East region.

Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, today pledged to make rural wages a key part of Labour’s county council election campaign and is calling on the Government to drop plans to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board.
  
The Agricultural Wages Board sets fair pay levels for 152,000 fruit pickers and farm workers in England and Wales.  The Government’s impact assessment says that abolishing the pay board will take £260 million out of the rural economy over 10 years through lost holiday and sick pay.
 
Mary will be undertaking a rural tour of Britain to campaign to protect rural wages

Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary will say:

"The Tory-led Government's abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board will lead to lower wages for farm workers and take £260 million out of village high streets over ten years.

“David Cameron’s out of touch government has delivered a bitter blow to the rural economy and to thousands of low-paid farm workers who will be worried about their pay falling. We a need a One Nation plan for the countryside to tackle the rural cost of living crisis, protect buses and public services, and invest in rural jobs and growth."
Councillor Grant Davey, Labour’s Leader at Northumberland County Council, added:
“Once again The Government is failing to stand up for hard-working families. The Government's abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board is going to unfairly penalise farm workers here in Northumberland, affecting nearly 1800 agricultural workers and damaging the County’s local economy. The Tory-Lib Dem government needs to urgently rethink what they are doing and the House of Lords should vote against this unfair measure on Wednesday.”

ENDS

·         The Agricultural Wages Board protects pay levels and conditions for 152,000 rural workers in England and Wales.

English region
Total agricultural workers
North East
North West
Yorkshire and the Humber
East Midlands
West Midlands
East of England
South East and London
South West
3,360
12,260
12,560
15,550
18,390
24,270
29,810
23,460
England total
139,640
Wales
12,000



 Agricultural Wages Order from 1 October 2012

Weekly Pay
Hourly Pay

£/week
£/hour
Grade 1 of compulsory school age
-
3.11
Grade 1 above compulsory school age (farm labourer)
242.19
6.21
Grade 2
271.44
6.96
Grade 3
298.74
7.66
Grade 4
320.19
8.21
Grade 5
339.30
8.70
Grade 6  (farm manager)
366.60
9.40





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