Unite takes fight to retain agricultural wages board to European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg - image:Eugene Regis
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg - image:Eugene Regis

The Unite union has filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) accusing the UK government of breaching the human rights of agricultural workers by abolishing the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB).

It claims that the board's abolition breaches the UK's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights as well as other international legal instruments to which the UK is a signatory including the Conventions of the ILO (International Labour Organisation).

The AWB for England ceased to function at the start of this month. Scotland and Northern Ireland retain their boards, while the Welsh Government is attempting to retain the Welsh board also.

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: "We are determined to fight for the rights of individual working men and women to come together and bargain collectively in order to improve living standards."

Shadow food and farming minister Huw Irranca-Davies has said an incoming Labour government would consider reinstating the board in England. 


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