The Construction Industry Federation has said that tender prices have declined by almost 30% since the economic downturn began but wage costs have not reduced in line with that reduction.
An agreement was reached in early 2011 between the CIF and unions which led to a 7.5% cut in wages for construction workers.
However, the CIF now says that an additional wage cut is needed in an effort to try and prevent more job losses and improve competitiveness.
The CIF is also suggesting that new workers to the sector start on the minimum wage in addition they are also seeking changes to overtime, travel and subsistence payment agreements.
It was reported by RTE that The Congress of Trade Unions is arguing that further pay cuts will not help to protect jobs. It said construction workers are prepared to look at pay related costs in a creative way but will not accept a “slash and burn approach” to solving problems in the industry. Dennis Farrell Deputy General Secretary of the Building and Allied trade union has said that “we have raised consistently, that there are no measures to address the black economy in the industry, which is rampant.”