21 April 1995

Workers want joint council

ONLY a few months after winning the battle to save the Agricultural Wages Board, farm workers want it replaced with a joint industry council.

Farmworkers leaders will be discussing the move at the TGWUs rural and agricultural trade group national committee meeting next week. Fresh impetus was given to the move last weekend when the unions Norfolk and Suffolk area conference meeting near Norwich voted unanimously for the AWBs replacement with a statutory JIC.

Barry Leathwood, the groups national secretary, told farmers weekly that the conference resolution fitted in with the unions long-standing policy. For years farmworkers had been unhappy with the AWBs structure of eight farmers and eight workers representatives plus five so-called independent members.

As the independents were appointed by a Tory government keen to keep down wage costs, farmworkers felt the AWBs decisions were weighted in favour of farmers. &#42