Lawmakers promised early review of wage protection move Federation of Trade Unions legislators were accused yesterday of making a politically motivated U-turn after deciding to back the chief executive's policy address despite being one of the fiercest critics of the lack of legislation for a minimum wage. They said they had decided to support today's Legislative Council motion of thanks for the address after the labour minister gave a private undertaking to conduct a mid-term review of the voluntary 'wage protection movement' announced in the speech. They also said they would not carry out their threat to take legal action for minimum-wage legislation before the mid-term review is conducted next October. The government had said earlier it would review the scheme only after it had operated for two years. Other legislators condemned the federation for making a U-turn and said it paved the way for the federation's delegates to nominate Donald Tsang Yam-kuen for a second term as chief executive. They also demanded Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Matthew Cheung Kin-chung and Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan explain why they had not disclosed the mid-term review at a meeting of Legco's manpower panel two hours before the federation's announcement. The federation said as well as supporting the motion of thanks, it would abstain from voting on amendments moved by Confederation of Trade Unions legislator Lee Cheuk-yan and Democrat Albert Chan Wai-yip expressing regret over the policy address. This is despite the fact Mr Lee's amendment cites the government's failure to legislate for a minimum wage. 'We haven't made a U-turn,' federation legislator Chan Yuen-han said at a news conference where she presented a letter from Mr Cheung promising a mid-term review. 'The government used very obscure language to talk about carrying out a review two years later. I wanted a clear timetable.' Mr Lee said the federation's stance was politically motivated. 'It's apparent they are paving the way for nominating Donald Tsang in the coming chief executive election. Because if they don't support the motion of thanks, how can they nominate him in the future?' Unionist legislator Leung Yiu-chung said he was disappointed by the federation's U-turn and would demand the government provide an explanation. 'It's apparent that there's some secret dealing.' Federation members admitted at the news conference that they had received the letter in the afternoon, although their legislator Wong Kwok-hing had not mentioned it at the panel meeting. A Labour Department spokesman said Mr Ip had mentioned during the Legco meeting that reviews would be conducted from time to time.