The president of the IMPACT trade union has said the failure of employers to share the country's wealth with their workers is the main sticking point in the stalled pay talks.
Speaking at the opening of IMPACT's annual conference in Killarney last night, the union's president, Stephen Lyons, said employers were just not interested in giving workers a fair share.
"We were told back in the late 80s that if the country created wealth, the workers would benefit from it, but that has not happened at all," he claimed.
"Wealth is being created in Irish society, but it is not being distributed."
The talks were scheduled to conclude last weekend, but have now been suspended until this Sunday due to ongoing gap between employers and trade unions.
The unions are seeking pay rises of between 4% and 5% per annum to cover the rising cost of living and to take account of strong economic growth.
However, employers want any increases limited to below 3%, claiming this is needed to protect competitiveness.