He conveniently forgets that the Tories opposed the minimum wage and abolished the wages council
which provided a safety net for millions of low-paid workers, not only on pay but terms and conditions of employment.
Although similar in structure to the LPC, with representatives from employers, unions and independents, the Wages Councils
were much more like joint negotiating bodies with the independent representatives' main role as facilitators between the employer and union sides.
The British wages councils
, as they came to be called, limped on through the twentieth century, increasingly out of touch with emerging sectors of low pay, out of touch with surrounding earnings, and poorly enforced.
In what were to become the Wages Councils
after the second world war, these boards involved employers, worker representatives and independent assessors in setting minimum standards for wages, hours and conditions of work.
John Major was an able and personally decent and honourable but limited man who did what he could to repair the damage Thatcher had done to the Health Service but he was responsible for a number of wretchedly mean actions, such as abolishing the Wages Councils
and making various cuts in welfare benefits.
Schedules 3 and 8 gave the CIR the duty, on direction from the Secretary of State, to investigate Wages Councils
. S17 and S18 and Schedule I gave the Court power to investigate claims for approved closed shops.
In the UK the system of minimum wages that existed in the 1980s (until their abolition in August 1993) was the Wages Councils
,(11) an industry-based system of minimum pay setting for around 2.5m workers in low-paid sectors (catering, retail, and hairdressing being the largest covered sectors).
Since the Wages Councils
were axed in 1993, the Low Pay Unit say that those in the service industry have seen their wages plummet now they have no protection from unscrupulous bosses.
In the UK, Machin and Manning (1992) found that the Wages Councils
made a significant contribution to the increased dispersion of wage rates among the low paid throughout the 1980s by failing to match minimum rates to the rise in average earnings.
Were Wages Councils
'organisations', given that they had no staff or expenditure of their own?
Conservative Government, in its its 1993 Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Bill, abolished the existing system of minimum wages, the Wages Councils
that (in 1990) set industry-based minimum rates of pay for approximately 2.5 million low-paid workers.(1)