Trade Boards Acts

Trade Boards Acts in United Kingdom

Trade Boards Acts in the United Kingdom

The Trade Boards Act 1918 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that heavily shaped the post-World War I system of UK labour law, particularly regarding collective bargaining and the establishment of minimum wages. It was the result of the second of five Whitley Committee reports. The 1918 extended the piecemeal system for tackling sweated labour begun under the Trade Boards Act 1909. This Act provided for the creation of boards which could set minimum wage criteria that were legally enforceable.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “It is a national evil that any class of Her Majesty’s subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions… where you have what we call sweated trades, you have no organisation, no parity of bargaining, the good employer is undercut by the bad and the bad by the worst; the worker, whose whole livelihood depends upon the industry, is undersold by the worker who only takes up the trade as a second string… where these conditions prevail you have not a condition of progress, but a condition of progressive degeneration.”

In Canada

There is a Boards of Trade Act (1985) in Canada, allowing any number of persons, not fewer than thirty, who are merchants, traders, brokers, mechanics, manufacturers, managers of banks or insurance agents, carrying on business in, or resident in, a district that has a population of not less than two thousand five hundred, or in the Province of British Columbia or in Yukon not less than one thousand five hundred, may associate themselves together as a board of trade and appoint a secretary.

Trade Boards as Organized Markets

For information about Trade Boards as organized market for the exchange of commodity contracts, including the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), see Trade Boards in General.



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