Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Kill this Tory Bill - Save the minimum wage

Tory MPs are continuing to promote a Bill to abolish the minimum wage and it is due to be debated on Friday 12 June.

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich is calling on Tory MPs to withdraw their support from the Employment Opportunities Bill and for David Cameron to condemn it.

It follows a concerted campaign by the pressure group Wage Concern, led by John Prescott MP and supported by Usdaw and Unison. This grassroots campaign saw more than 12,000 people sign a petition or join the Wage Concern Facebook Group; along with the online lobbying of more than 300 MPs and 139 MPs back an Early Day Motion calling on David Cameron to renounce the bill.

All this pressure led to the bill being pulled from its original slot on May 15th after Gordon Brown told MPs during Prime Ministers’ Question Time to vote against it.

Usdaw General Secretary and Low Pay Commission member John Hannett said:

“I can’t believe that Christopher Chope is still promoting this legislation when he didn’t have the bottle to debate its consequences with me on the radio. We will continue to defend the National Minimum Wage from all those who seek to destroy it.

“This Bill will leave Britain’s most vulnerable workers at the mercy of rogue employers who will pressurise them into opting out of the minimum wage. It offers no choice to low paid workers. Tory MPs are insulting our intelligence by suggesting that there is a human right to pay lower than the legal minimum.

“This Bill will remove the floor of minimum wage protection and that means everyone’s wages will spiral downwards.”

Wage Concern - Save the minimum wage

Picture: L-R John Hannett, John Prescott MP and David Williams at the Wage Concern lobby in the House of Commons.

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