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New 'Tolpuddle Martyrs' demand £50 a day

Dorchester tour guides risk transportation to Oz

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The immediate future of 11 striking Dorchester tour guides seems to hold just two possibilities: either West Dorset District Council ups their pay to £50 a day, or they'll be on the next prison ship to Oz.

The professional "Blue Badge" guides are currently paid a starvation £26.65* a day to show tourists around the Old Crown Court in Dorchester, where the famous Tolpuddle Martyrs were condemned to transportation for similarly bemoaning their paltry pay.

Unite, which encompasses the Association of Professional Tourist Guides (APTG), has mobilised in support of the Dorchester Eleven.

Unite regional officer for the APTG, Andrew Murray, noted: “It is ironic that the guides are experts in the Tolpuddle Martyrs - agricultural labourers who were transported to Australia in 1834, after protesting against continuous wage cuts.

He concluded: “Nothing much seems to have changed in West Dorset in the last 176 years in relation to fair pay for a fair day’s work.” ®

Bootnote

* Unite's press release doesn't note how many hours the guides put in. The current minumum wage in the UK is £5.80 per hour "for workers aged 22 years and older".

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