News in brief

Pay deals down

Engineering pay settlements have fallen to their lowest level since April 1994, according to the Engineering Employers’ Federation. The average rise for the three months to the end of June was 2.5%, down from 2.7% to the end of May.

Euro gloom

European manufacturers are gloomy about business prospects, according to the Union of Industrial Employers’ Confederations of Europe. Most companies feel that reform of the labour market and tax systems is more important than interest rate cuts.

Curtains for doors

Most of the UK’s stock of 2,300 `slam-door’ railway carriages are to be replaced by 2004, ahead of the previous deadline of 2007, because of safety fears. In a separate move, the Government said Railtrack would have to find a project management partner before running any part of the London Underground.

Govan transfer

Kvaerner Govan shipyard on Clydeside will start work on two naval vessels transferred from GEC’s Barrow shipyard when it reopens after the summer shutdown. The transfer follows the sale of Govan for £2.25m to GEC Marconi Marine last week. Kvaerner had earlier rejected a £1m offer from Marconi Marine.

Dounreay deal

AEA Technology has won two contracts, together worth about £12m, to provide support services on decommissioning of the Prototype Fast Reactor at Dounreay in Scotland.

Top read

The Engineer emerged as the best-read trade publication among energy-intensive manufacturers in a survey by Kadence (UK) for national gas carrier Transco. The survey polled 300 senior executives from the steel, paper, chemicals, hotel and catering, healthcare and ceramics sectors.