Workers told not to expect pay rise for next three years
WORKERS' hopes of pay increases will be dashed today when the largest employer group in the country will advise its members "not to entertain" any claims for rises before 2013.
Outlining its pay policy for the next two years, IBEC will give a bleak outlook for wages and warn members to consider the impact of their actions on other employers.
In a speech to company chiefs at a conference this morning, IBEC president Leo Crawford will urge pay restraint.
His warning comes after a new national pay survey -- to be published today -- revealed most of the group's members plan to freeze pay, while 6pc will slash wages by 9.5pc next year.
Mr Crawford, the group chief executive of BWG Foods, will tell members -- who employ over 70pc of the private sector -- workforce pay rises are "unrealistic" as wages here are "significantly out of line" with our key trading partners.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen will address the conference that will also be attended by senior company executives including Glanbia MD John Moloney, Hewlett Packard MD Lionel Alexander and Professor John Kotter from Harvard Business School.
IBEC said most companies are still not in a position to award pay increases this year or the next, based on the survey findings.
The survey revealed nearly two thirds of members, or 62pc, will freeze basic pay next year and half expect no change to their pay bill. Most companies have already cut their pay bills.
They have fallen by an average 2.9pc already this year as seven out of 10 firms imposed pay freezes and 13pc reduced basic rates by a 11pc.
IBEC director Brendan McGinty said Ireland is under unprecedented international scrutinyto get labour costs "back into line".
He urged the Government to give consumers and businesses some certainty for next year by giving a definite indication of its Budget plans.
"While some progress has been made, our economic recovery will not take hold without fully pricing ourselves back into international markets," he said.
He said most businesses were unable to award pay increases this year and many are continuing to reduce their pay bill.