Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ten Years of the Minimum Wage

Now that it is well after noon on April Fool’s Day it makes sense to record (and applaud) the tenth anniversary of the Minimum Wage. This was a victory for one of our “former partner unions” in particular and for a former UNISON General Secretary. I had my differences with Rodney Bickerstaffe but I applaud his commitment to the fight against low pay.

Ten years ago I was part of a local demonstration outside a workplace previously employing workers below the Minimum Wage. We protested outside a workplace owned by the company who had (back then) been attacking the Hillingdon Hospital strikers.

I was pleased that a Labour Government introduced a Minimum Wage because (unlike some) I have been a Labour Party member all my life. I come from a Labour family. I cannot hide my disappointment about the limited gains which we have to show for the last twelve years of Labour Government, but I do think it is important to record what has been achieved.

In addition to the Minimum Wage, I particularly like subsections 4 and 5 of section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 and I bet that most other rank and file union activists find these amongst the most important gains of the years of ostensibly “Labour” government.

What do you think has been the most useful outcome of these years of “Labour” Government?


Mark Shore said...

I think you don't do yourself any favours about the issue of how long somebody's been a member of the Labour Party. Surely our concern should be that people do join and what they do when they've joined? It just looks like you're narked because one person you disagree with did well in the Labour Link elections.

Anonymous said...

Most useful outcome ? blair, blunket and mandy's fall from grace.