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February 8, 2007    

UK wages increasing with inflation

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by Elaine Frei

UK wages increasing with inflation

Pay raises within the private sector in the UK are reported to be going up with inflation. Even though a good number of wage agreements that began to be negotiated in January have not yet been decided, several of those already in place have been at 4 percent or better. The median for settlements in the three months ending in January, according to pay specialists Incomes Data Services, is at 3.5 percent, up from 3.05 percent in the three months ending in December. A number of the arrangements that will be finalized soon are tied to the retail price index.

One of the biggest wage settlements recently was for drillers who work for North Sea oil and gas companies, who will be getting raises totaling 10.5 percent. Other recently settled agreements include a 4.25 percent raise for Ford Motor employees in the UK, a 4.6 percent raise for factory workers at tobacco company Gallaher, and a 4.43 percent wage hike for workers at BMW’s Oxford site. In the construction sector, electrical contractors just got a 5 percent pay raise.

Most retailers will have their pay deals in place by the end of March. Those are likely to be a bit above minimum wage rates, as determined by recommendations from the Low Pay commission.

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