Tories plan to scrap Minimum Wage is cause for 'Wage Concern'
USDAW, the shopworkers' union, is
leading a campaign to save the National Minimum Wage from a Tory
Bill to scrap it. Usdaw has teamed up with John Prescott's Go
Fourth campaign and other unions, to launch 'Wage Concern' to stop a
Tory Private Members Bill that will totally undermine the minimum
wage and drive millions of workers back to poverty pay.
The Employment Opportunities Bill, tabled by Senior Conservative
Christopher Chope, who as a minister helped bring in the Poll Tax,
is timetabled for its 2nd reading in Parliament next Friday 15 May.
During the Bill's first reading, Mr Chope said it will:-
"introduce more freedom, flexibility and opportunity for those
seeking employment in the public and private sectors."
The bill, which is supported by 10 other Tory MPs, aims to:-
- allow employees to opt-out of the minimum wage
- ensure all public sector jobs are
- grant the 'right to work' under the
Declaration of Human Rights by allowing workers to be paid less than
the minimum wage
Usdaw campaigned for a Labour Government to introduce the minimum
wage in 1999. The Union is now asking all trade unionists and
working people to save the minimum wage by signing the petition
John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary and member of the Low Pay
Commission, said:- "The minimum wage provides income
protection and security for millions of workers. It stops
unscrupulous employers from driving down wages across the board. The
new Tory 'Employment Opportunities Bill' would allow employers to
opt out of their responsibility to their staff to pay a fair days
wage for a fair day's work and effectively bring an end to the
national minimum wage.
This shows the Tories in their true light and is a little insight
into what a Conservative Government would do. They are still
fighting the battles of the 1980s and 90s when they abolished the
wages councils and left my members and millions of other workers
without wage protection. David Cameron talks about an age of
austerity, well we now know that he means it for low-paid workers.
There is always pressure on wages and the minimum wage is needed to
ensure people are paid fairly. I urge anyone who cares about the
protection of our workforce to log on to:-
www.wageconcern.com and sign the petition to save our
John Prescott added:- "Only a Tory could suggest that not
being able to work for less than minimum wage would be a denial of
Human Rights. This from a party that actually wants to abolish the
Human Rights Act and provide cheaper labour. We call on
everyone who believes in fairness and social justice to join Wage
Concern and help us kill this Tory Bill on May 15."
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:- "Christopher
Chope and his Tory cabal want to turn the clock back to the days of
poverty pay where workers are exploited by unscrupulous bosses. The
sham Caring Conservatism is stripped bare by their plans. They have
shown clearly that they are not on the side of ordinary hard-working
The minimum wage is a symbol of a civilised society, a floor to
protect workers that gives them dignity. It is needed more than ever
in tough economic times. And isn't it typical of the Tories that
their response to the recession is to rob the poor to keep the rich?
UNISON fought long and hard to establish the statutory national
minimum wage, in the teeth of opposition and unfounded
scaremongering about massive job losses. Any attempt to dilute or
abolish it will be resisted."
PEOPLE ARRESTED - DAY OF ACTION - SOUTH LIVERPOOL
ON Thursday, 7
May 2009, 12 people were arrested in a joint day of action with Her
Majesty's Revenue & Customs, Her Majesty's Courts Service and
Trading Standards to tackle criminality in south Liverpool.
The operation was launched in response to community intelligence and
targeted known criminals and the premises they frequent.
Officers executed search warrants and visited the gyms, betting
shops and public houses known to be used by criminals and their
Of the 12 people who were arrested, 7 were wanted on warrant, 1 was
wanted on recall to prison, 2 were arrested on suspicion of
breaching Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, 1 was arrested on suspicion
of breach of bail and another was arrested on suspicion of
obstructing the police. In addition, 19,500 counterfeit
cigarettes, £5,000 worth of counterfeit vodka and 5 vehicles were
Acting Chief Inspector Andy Wignall said:- "During this
operation we worked closely with our partner agencies to act on
information from the community to target known criminals and disrupt
their lives. This operation was a first for Merseyside Police, as
various leisure facilities across the area were visited as part of
The high visibility presence of officers also provided reassurance
to the public and sent a clear message that criminal behaviour will
not be tolerated. I would urge anyone with any information
about criminal behaviour in their area to call Crimestoppers on 0800
555 111 and we will take the appropriate action."
Hindus want England faith schools to teach all major religions
that faith schools in England should provide well-balanced education
about religions, educating pupils about all major religions.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA),
said that since today’s schoolchildren were tomorrow’s leaders, they
wanted these kids to grow-up as well balanced and nurtured citizens
of tomorrow without any biases, stereotypes and caricatures.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that
since these schools received state funding, the religious schools
should be open to all interested; these should teach the basics of
other religions also besides the patron faith; and these should
intake more socio-economically disadvantaged children.
Rajan Zed argued that these schools should change their focus from,
as many critics say, covert social selection to achieve superior
academic and other performance. Historically, such schools were
launched to provide free education to those who could not afford.
Zed pointed out that an independent body should be established to
regulate their admission processes as many schools were blamed of
“backdoor selection” and “cream skimming”.
According to reports, there are about 4,657 Church of England
schools, 2,053 Roman Catholic, 82 other Christian, 36 Jewish, 8
Muslim, 2 Sikh, and 1 Hindu schools in England.
Do you agree with this report?
Do faith schools in England miss out on Hindu teaching?
Should we teach all religions? Email your views to:-