Manufacturing sector gripped by pay freezes

Nearly a quarter of all engineering and manufacturing firms that reported
pay settlements in the three months to the end of December 2003 also
implemented pay freezes.

According to the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation which collected the
figures, it is the highest level of pay freezes reported since February 2002.

David Yeandle, EEF deputy director of employment policy, said: "The
high level of pay freezes, together with the continuing low level of pay
settlements, reinforces our view that wage inflationary pressures remain
benign, and should not be of concern to members of the monetary policy
committee when they next review the level of interest rates."

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