Construction workers are today seeking a pay rise of 12% over three years along with other improvements such as a one-hour daily travelling allowance for every worker.
John Regan of Siptu’s construction sector told RTE’s Morning Ireland the industry is not sharing profits with workers.
“They are not treating workers fairly, they are being exploited and unsafe practices are going on.
Mr Regan pointed out that profits for the construction sector in 2018 were €1billion more than in 2017.
He also claimed that labour costs were not a factor “in what went wrong at the children’s hospital.” There is “unbelievable bogus employment going on.”
Construction companies are forcing PAYE workers to become self-employed, he said.
The entry-level wage for construction workers is €28,000 which Mr Regan said the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) wants to freeze for three years. “There is no progress on wages, it is a flat rate salary for the year.”
Mr Regan said that the 12% being sought for the construction sector is in line with the trend in other sectors. “Construction workers should not be treated any different.”
He acknowledged that there had been a 10% increase in 2017, but said that eight per cent had been “given up” over previous years.