Union anger over construction bosses' derisory pay offer
Construction unions, who represent workers covered by the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) agreement, said the employers’ offer of 17 pence an hour for craft workers and 13 pence an hour for general operatives, was derisory and insulting.
With the two previous negotiating meetings stalling after employers refused to make any pay offer, workers were hoping that employers would come to their senses.
However the employers made an offer of just 1.6 per cent, citing the difficult economic conditions. To add insult to injury, the pay rise was to be deferred until January 2013 and was part of a 2 year deal with 0 per cent being offered in the second year.
Steve Murphy, general secretary of UCATT, said: “Construction workers are sick and tired of crocodile tears from the employers. Construction companies continue to make profits, directors get paid bonuses but workers aren’t paid enough to provide for themselves and their families. We have no option but to demand the employers reconsider this insulting offer.”
John Allott, national officer for Unite, said: “Employers are disgracefully asking construction workers to accept what is in real terms a pay cut. Bosses keep on demanding more work while thinking they can get away without paying a fair rate. Construction workers with bills to pay and families to feed are rightly angry and employers need to think again. We will be consulting with our members over the next steps in our campaign to get fair pay in line with the cost of living.”
The growing anger among rank and file construction workers about the failure of the employers to make a reasonable offer, was demonstrated by a large and vocal lobby which took place outside the pay talks. The negotiating unions will now be considering their next steps.
The CIJC is the largest construction industry agreement covering the pay and terms of conditions of up to 500,000 workers.