Wednesday 21 February 2018

Autumn of discontent has not spilled into the private sector

The former Labour Party Minister of State, Ged Nash. Photo: Tom Burke
The former Labour Party Minister of State, Ged Nash. Photo: Tom Burke

Anne-Marie Walsh

Two years ago, the former Labour Party Minister of State, Ged Nash, predicted that 2015 would be the year of the pay rise. But it wasn't really. The pent-up frustration union leaders told us was about to erupt, after eight years of austerity and stagnant wages, into an explosion just didn't detonate.

There have been numerous claims lodged across the private and public sectors but if anything, it has been a slow burn. Ibec says that three-quarters of its members are giving pay rises. But those who are receiving them are getting in the region of 1pc to 2pc if they're lucky. This has been the pay norm for Siptu's 45,000 members in the manufacturing sector, including workers at big pharma companies and members of retail union Mandate. A similar percentage is being paid out to public servants under the Lansdowne Road deal under the title of 'pay restoration'.

But earlier this year, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions advised union officials they should seek pay rises of between 2.5pc and 5pc in the private sector.

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