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No ‘pay rises’ below inflation

The Unite union has dressed up 3 percent pay deals as victories. But with inflation closer to 5 percent, these are really pay cuts
An arrow zigzags diagonally upwards, mimickign a graph, to the right, in front of a graphic showing bank notes

Inflation is near 5 percent – and looks set to rise even further

With inflation at the rate it is, many strikers are not winning the huge pay rises their unions claim they are.

The bosses’ preferred measure of inflation is the Consumer Prices Index is currently 3.2 percent.

But the Retail Prices Index inflation rate—which gives a better indication for what people pay for goods and services—is currently at 4.9 percent.

And it looks set to rise even further.

So, if workers accept a 3 percent pay offer—as union leaders have recommended in some disputes—then under either index this is actually a pay cut.

In real terms, it’s a pay cut of 1.9 percent.

With inflation set to worsen, unions cannot accept pay “rises” lower than 5 percent.

Around 150 plastic workers at Alpla in Wigan will receive a 4 percent pay “rise” backdated to January for those earning under £25,000 a year.

And staff on more than £25,000 will receive a pay rise of 3 percent from January.

From 2022, all staff will receive a pay rise of 3.25 percent.

So until 2022, workers have accepted a pay cut.

And the rise is not 6 percent as Unite claims, but just over 1 or 2 percent with inflation as it currently stands.

Workers shouldn’t let union leaders dress up pay cuts as victories.

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