Peers put the brakes on the government's plans to slash the pay of 150,000 rural workers on Wednesday.
It was a glimmer of hope in the fight to save the decades-old Agricultural Wages Board (AWB), which regulates the pay for workers in England and Wales.
Coalition plans threaten widespread poverty in the countryside by pinching millions of pounds from rural workers' pockets and handing it to their bosses.
The proposals would have gone through "on the nod" but now a vote by the House of Lords on the AWB's future has to be held at the report stage in about six weeks' time.
Unite national officer Julia Long said: "We applaud the intervention of those peers that did not want a large swathe of the agricultural workforce reduced to poverty wages.
"The government has behaved in a shambolic way in tacking on an amendment that will have a huge impact on the rural economy onto a business bill - the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
"Many peers are angry at both the government's plan to reduce rural workers' livelihoods and the underhand manner it is being done.
"A brake has been put on the government's pernicious proposal.
"There is still time to mobilise enough parliamentary support to halt the AWB's abolition."
The AWB is the last of the wage councils set up after the second world war to regulate pay and conditions - the others were axed in the early 1990s.
Mike Walker of Country Standard congratulated Labour's shadow farming minister Huw Irranca-Davies for his "tireless work."
Mr Walker said the AWB acts "as benchmark for many rural workers‚ jobs and was a de facto rural living wage."
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