12 November 2010
The 2,500 Unite members working in the corrugated board industry have voted by a 9-1 majority to reject a 2.15 per cent pay offer from the employers body, the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).
Unite national officer, Peter Ellis, said: “Last year, because of the economic climate, the big three (David S Smith, Smurfit Kappa and SAICA) were able to get away with paying a minimal increase and reaped the benefit with very good profits.”
This year, as they continue to make good profits, the employers are trying to use the uncertain employment market to do the same. At the talks in early October, we could have settled on a modest improvement to the offer, but the CPI insisted that a pay settlement at less than half of the retail prices index was as far as it was prepared to go.
Unite members will now go to a ballot for industrial action. The aim is for a far higher settlement than could have been achieved by a continuation of the partnership approach, that has set us in such good stead over recent years.”