10 January 2001
Drop wages board, say NI farmers

By FWi staff

NORTHERN Ireland farmers representatives say they are disappointed and concerned at a Government decision to retain the Agricultural Wages Board.

The Ulster Farmers Union claims the Department for Agriculture and Rural Developments should have abolished the board as it is obsolete.

Wilbert Mayne, chairman of the UFU legislation and commercial committee said recent legislation makes it unnecessary. .

He said: “The sheer volume of legislation in place under general employment law and the National Minimum Wage means that employees are well protected.

“The Union feels that additional obligations on the agricultural industry are not required and simply add to the burden of bureaucracy farmers have to deal with.”

He said farmers are continually being told that they must become more competitive and aware of the marketplace.

“This sentiment should also apply to employing staff.”

But Mr Mayne confirmed the UFU would continue to represent the interests of employers in future negotiations within the local AWB.