The possibility of a breakthrough in the month long dispute at the Heinz Wigan plant was crushed by the employers yesterday when they refused to budge on their below inflation pay offer.
Profit margins at Heinz are at 37% yet workers have been offered 3.3% pay rise with a further 3% next year.
Setting the record straight, Unite says that:
While the company asserts management bonuses have been cut by 20 per cent, some are still boasting about receiving a whopping 15 per cent bonus – so even though down from what must have been an unbelievable 35 percent, this is still equivalent to a staggering 7.8 weeks' pay extra.
The workers’ average bonus will now be less than 4 per cent, a fall of 2 per cent from last year and considerably lower than the average bonus over recent years.
The 3.3 per cent offer for this year is considerably below RPI at the anniversary of the deal, which was 4.8 per cent. RPI has fluctuated since then, going above 5 per cent at one point and now stands at 4.7 per cent.
Capping next year’s deal at 3 per cent will again see a reduction in real terms as inflation forecasts for 2011 is forecast to reach 4.1 per cent if not higher
The supposed `improvement' to healthcare is compulsory and comes at a cost to the workers of over £1.00 more a week - £52 per year. This is a far worse deal than they could get it as a private individual over the internet.
Strikes at the plant have been solid all week and a further strike is planned for 29th December.
Speaking after the talks, Ian Wright, Unite convenor at the Kitt Green site, said: "We are extremely disappointed that today's talks have come to nothing. We entered into the meeting in good faith and with a genuine commitment to find a resolution to the dispute but management were not prepared to add any value to the offer that has already been overwhelmingly rejected by our members."
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