The Transport and General Workers Union is set to push for a substantial increase in the hourly pay rates for farm workers.

The T&G will call for a rise from £5.58 an hour to £6 when it submits its annual claim to the Agricultural Wages Board on 13 June.

For craft grades it will press for a rise from the current range of £5.91 to £7.53 to a new range starting at £6.60 and peaking at £8.40.

Temporary and manual harvest workers should also get a pay rise from £5.05 to £5.40, the T&G said.

At that rate temporary workers would earn more than the national minimum wage which will be set at £5.35 from October this year.

Backing the T&G’s call a union spokesman said the farm industry would be unable to attract new workers and keep hold of existing ones if wages remained at their present level.

“The agricultural industry would face growing recruitment problems and a deepening skills shortage,” it said.

To make the industry more attractive to new workers the T&G is also calling for 25 days holiday, excluding public holidays, and a 38-hour working week.

 

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