Engineers struggle to secure good pay deals

Pay settlements in the engineering sector have remained at
historically low levels from October to December 2000, according to the latest
figures released by the Employers Engineering Federation (EEF).

The average pay settlement for the three months ending
December was 2.8 per cent, the same level as the previous three-month average
to the end of November.  

The levels of pay freezes has remained high during 2000,
averaging between 1 in 8 and 1 in 10 of all settlements for most of 2000.

“These figures continue to show that the Bank of England has
little to fear from wage inflationary pressures in the manufacturing sector,”
commented David Yeandle, deputy director of the EEF.

Meanwhile the CBI and the TUC have called for cuts in
interest rates after new figures revealed a levelling off of employment growth
and a rise in average earnings.

The CBI said the 4.2 per cent increase in average earnings
in the year to November, unchanged from the previous month, showed inflationary
pressures remained subdued.

It supported calls by business for an interest rate cut.

"Employment fell slightly and earnings were stable in
the autumn. This, together with yesterday’s inflation figures, support calls by
business for an interest rate cut,” said Kate Barker, the CBI’s chief

By Karen Higginbottom


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