United Kingdom - Most union reps pessimistic on pay and job prospects - February 7, 2011

The squeeze on workers’ spending power could prove fatal to government hopes of a private-sector recovery in the economy, according to a survey of union representatives. The recent Labour Research Department (LRD) survey shows that workplace reps and union officials are generally pessimistic about the prospects for the economy and for their own collective bargaining. Even in the private sector only 28% feel pay is likely to rise at or above the rate of price increases for most workers. These concerns are spelt out by reps’ predictions of staffing levels where their members work, with 59% anticipating that levels will be reduced in 2011. That view is not confined to the public sector, where 80% are expecting job cuts, but is also held by four in 10 private sector reps. Only 16% in the private sector think the workforce will increase. It is not surprising, therefore, that reps are tending to make job security an even higher priority than pay. Well over half (57%) say it is top priority compared with 39% citing pay. Job security is prioritized by 80% in the public sector and 33% in the private sector.

English: press release Labour Research Department (LRD)

This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) M.vanKlaveren@uva.nl. You may find further information on the ETUI at www.etui.org, and on the AIAS at www.uva-aias.net. © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2011.

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