Nestle digs heels in on pay rise
THE operators of an infant formula facility at Askeaton, Co Limerick, have told the Labour Court that they are not in a position to concede a 2pc pay claim sought by SIPTU.
Around 650 staff work at the plant and a 2pc pay increase due in January 2011 was frozen as part of a "multi-million euro in 30 months" cost-saving strategy.
Last year, US giant Pfizer sold the plant to Nestle as part of a deal worth around €9bn.
According to the Labour Court "the company claim that, if conceded, the pay increase would have a significant negative impact on competitiveness of the facility and a detrimental effect on the company's ability to meet financial commitments".
SIPTU argued to the Labour Court that "the Askeaton workers were the only group of workers singled out by the company to endure this pay freeze.
"There are a number of other ways by which the necessary savings can be achieved."
The company told the Labour Court "that the pay strategy in Askeaton during 2010 and 2011 was consistent with comparator companies within the industry". The company stated that "alternative cost-saving strategies operate in other facilities around the country and the company is not in a position to concede this pay claim".