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More pay restraint ahead

CBI Scotland has urged the Scottish Parliament not to support a living wage.

CBI Scotland's senior policy executive Lauren Paterson said: "Pay restraint has played an important role in supporting current levels of employment...Pay restraint is set to continue with containing labour costs cited as the second-highest workforce priority for businesses in the next 12 months...decisions on pay must be left at the discretion of the individual business, taking into account their wider business strategy, including affordability."

Dave Watson, Scottish organiser of Unison, said: "One of the primary causes of the longest and deepest recession for a generation has been the shift from wages into profits...It's the fat-cat pay of the CBI bosses that is out of control."

Britain's workers are suffering the most protracted squeeze on their incomes since the long depression of the 1870s and are now well into their fourth year of falling real wages. High inflation and s…

more pay cuts loom

About 3% of the UK's workforce have seen basic pay fall in the past year and those in the construction sector have been hardest hit, it said, with 10% in that industry seeing pay fall according to this report .Thousands of workers have negotiated lower pay packets hoping to avoid redundancy.
"We're predicting next year that we're going to see more organisations making more and more redundancies." said the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

The reality of the real world

From the Guardian ;

The top 10% of income earners get 27.3% of the cake, while the bottom 10% get just 2.6%

Twenty years ago the average chief executive of a FTSE 100 company earned 17 times the average employee's pay; now it is more than 75 times

Since Labour came to power in 1997 the proportion of personal wealth held by the top 10% has swelled from 47% to 54%.

Tax consultants Grant Thornton estimated that in 2006 at least 32 of the UK's 54 billionaires paid no income tax at all.

"We now live in a separate economy, we live on a separate level to the vast majority of people in the country. We don't send our kids to the same schools, we have more choice over schools, we have more choice over health, we have more choice over where we live, we have more choice over where we go on holiday and what we do for our jobs. And we live in a completely different world to the people we live next door to."

ethical exploitation

The "ethical" fish restaurant group, Loch Fyne, pays staff salaries below the minimum wage . Loch Fyne champions marine conservation, and proclaims a corporate philosophy of "an enterprise with respect for animals, people and ecology." according to the BBC
It relies on customer tips to boost total pay to a lawful level . Staff at Loch Fyne Restaurants say they are on a salary of £5.05 an hour, compared with the legal minimum wage of £5.52. The Unite union called the company's behaviour "appalling", and said all restaurant staff should be on a minimum wage salary, as well as getting a fair share of tips. Restaurants are legally allowed to include tips in the calculation of employees earnings, but the practice has been criticised as unethical.
The BBC also revealed that salaries at the Hard Rock Cafe in London were less than half the minimum wage, with waiters on £2.06 an hour

yet another reform failure

The gender pay gap is still growing despite more than 30 years of equal pay and sex discrimination legislation, a Scottish Government report has found.

Men in full-time employment are now paid 15% more than their female equivalents and 34% more than women in part-time work according to the annual report into the Gender Equality Scheme.The report also found wide variations between the gender pay gap in different sectors. The gap ranges from 2% in sales and customer service occupations to as high as 28.1% for managers and senior officials.

Chris Benson, a solicitor who works with the UK-wide Support Equal Pay campaign group, said of the findings: "It is really disappointing that, despite government efforts, the pay gap is still growing..."

The ragged trousered philanthropists

Workers in Scotland are doing increasing amounts of unpaid overtime and would receive an extra £4517 a year if they were paid for the additional hours they are putting in, according the STUC.
The number of employees in Scotland working unpaid increased by 20,000 in 2007, bringing the total to 436,000. The average amount of unpaid overtime is six hours and 54 minutes a week.
The STUC has calculated that if everyone in the UK who works unpaid overtime did all their unpaid work at the start of the year, the first day they would get paid would be February 22.
The number of employees working unpaid overtime across the UK increased by 103,000 to nearly five million; about one in five of the working population. The average annual value of unpaid overtime in the UK is £4955 per employee.

"..today's figures suggest many people are not even being paid for putting in these extra hours.Workers in Scotland are giving away over £4500 a year in unpaid overtime. That's too much time and mone…