The minimum wage should rise by 50p an hour from 2005 with a bigger increase the following year, the TUC has said.
It is calling for the minimum amount to increase to £5.35 next year, with a large increase towards £6 in 2006.
The union’s general council, which represents 70 unions, discussed the rise at its monthly meeting.
The minimum wage rose to £4.85 at the beginning of October, and the Low Pay Commission is now considering submissions for next year. Some unions wanted a steeper rise in 2005 to be proposed. Unison called for a minimum wage of £6.50, prompting the TUC to look for a compromise.
On Monday, the TUC will present its case to the Low Pay Commission. The commission will make its final recommendation to ministers in February.
A spokesman for the CBI employers’ group called the TUC figure “rash and unrealistic” .