Wednesday, 8 May 2013

What Molson Coors are doing to it's 284 Technicians at #burtonbrewery

Unite Briefing paper – Technicians

Molson Coors are proposing to divide the existing population of 284 Technicians into two groups..100 as Technician A and 184 as Technician B.  The proposal is that the Technician B workers will lose £9000 of annual salary.

We’ve asked management, “Is there a senior manager willing to put their name and reputation on the line to confirm that at least ten minutes of the working day would be different from an A Technician to that of a B Technician?”
There has not been a reply to that question.
We’ve asked if a Technician B is the same job as the Technician role, or is it a simpler, less skilled role?  
There has not been a reply to that question.
We’ve asked what differences there will be to justify a salary differential of £9000 between A & B proposed Technician roles.
The company response is that “Currently no Technician is working to A Technician standard, although we expect that the 100 we select would be at the required level between three and nine months following appointment”.
We’ve asked what could be done with a Technician during nine months of intense study that would justify them being worth nine grand more than the other Technicians.  No answer as yet to that question….
Molson Coors have confirmed that they believe the appropriate “market rate” for a Technician (B) would be £9000 less than the current salary.  Given that lack of any detail at all to show a real difference between A&B, we’ve asked them if they also believe that the proposed salary level for Technician A is also grossly overpaid.  The reply was “We currently have no plans to reduce the salary levels for Technician A’s”.  Unite was not re-assured by this answer.
Unite are also concerned that there is no guarantee of there being 100 Technician A roles in the future.  The company do not deny the possibility of Technician A workers going into a pool in the future and possibly having to become a “B”.

Your negotiating team have listened to the company. The company appear to believe that in the future there will be need for lesser skilled Technicians, alongside a smaller number of higher-skilled Technicians.  This however is very vague…and it is the possible future.  It seems to Unite that there can be no reputable or rational reasons for the company proposals for now….clearly this is all about cost reduction, and the way to achieve it is nothing short of savage.
Allowing for inflation, a £9000 pay reduction, over ten years, means £100,000 being taken from 184 of our Technicians.  Within the Burton and Swadlincote area, this is the value of a family home.
This proposal is about as serious as serious gets. Many of our members have children, whilst others are supporting elderly parents or have other dependants. Many vulnerable people – young and old, are facing the trauma of losing their bedroom, their garden, their home.
The difference between the pay of a Technician compared to Engineer is understood and respected. The differential is clearly linked to measurable, quantifiable differences in skills.  There is no such logic to this company proposal.
Add in severe cuts to wages in Inventory Control and Warehouse, and we are looking at Molson Coors winning for themselves the value of 225 local houses over the course of the next ten years.
In the future, the impact upon Technician B members in a redundancy situation is very alarming. In the company proposal, there is no pay protection either for pensions or for redundancy.  At time of writing, the company has indicated it may be prepared to offer two years pay protection for redundancy situations, although this has not been put into writing to Unite and would still in our opinion be a woefully inadequate move.
The company accepts that pension values would immediately be reduced upon implementation of the proposed pay cut. Molson Coors are offering to pay for independent pensions advice.  Unite believes that pensions are protected / covered under our site pay protection agreement; however this is not the company view.
Your Unite negotiating team believes that the company proposal is shameful.  To date, the company have not tried to justify it; we believe that this is because the proposals simply cannot be justified.
A separate briefing paper on the shift proposals – which are serious for all members of the negotiated group (including members on days) – should also be read carefully.
Ballot papers for industrial action will be posted out on Tuesday 30th April.
Vote wisely. Vote for strike action.

Rick Coyle
Regional Officer

Taken from a newsletter to members issued on 24th April 2013

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