A lorry driver employed by Blue Circle and interviewed on radio this week explained why he is happy with his five-year pay deal. It is no good, he said, getting a high pay rise this year if you are out of a job next.
These real fears about job insecurity are set to feature in pay and conditions negotiations over the coming year. They present a real challenge for employers who want to offer skilled employees a secure working environment. Many firms are still working under uncertain market conditions and will find it extremely difficult to plan pay increases or employee numbers several years ahead.
The Blue Circle deal is a positive move but it has raised expectations in an uncertain labour market which many will find impossible to meet.