The Statutory Minimum Wage Question
Employers and trade unions in the UK were at one time united in their opposition to the concept of a statutorily-fixed national minimum wage, this despite pressure for its introduction from those speaking on behalf of the low paid. Employers were concerned that any form of state regulation would interfere with the freedom of the labour market and that any minimum that might be established would be fixed too high. This would lead to an unsupportable increase in labour costs in organisations directly affected and to pressure for the maintenance of differentials elsewhere. Trade unions were concerned either that the statutory minimum would be so low as to be meaningless or that its very establishment would weaken potential employee commitment to trade union organisation and collective bargaining.
KeywordsMinimum Wage Trade Union Collective Bargaining Collective Agreement Labour Party
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Notes and References
- 1.Quoted in Ministry of Labour (1967) Industrial Relations Handbook, revised edition, HMSO, p. 214.Google Scholar
- 2.H. Phelps Brown (1959) The Growth of British Industrial Relations, Macmillan, p. 202.Google Scholar
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- 4.Department of Employment (1988) Wages Councils, Consultation Document, p. 7.Google Scholar
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- 8.ACAS (1980) Annual Report 1980, HMSO, pp. 59–60.Google Scholar
- 9.ACAS (1980) Industrial Relations Handbook, HMSO, p. 66.Google Scholar
- 10.ACAS (1980) Annual Report 1980, op. cit., p. 63.Google Scholar
- 11.C. Pond (1983) ‘Essay on Wages Councils, the Unorganised, and the Low Paid’, in Industrial Relations in Britain, Blackwell, p. 199.Google Scholar
- 12.ACAS (1980) Annual Report 1980, op. cit., p. 58.Google Scholar