The unions which make up the ICTU Congress Construction Industrial Committee (CIC) will commence lodging claims with employers in the construction sector for improvements in pay to restore the living standards of workers in the sector. Workers in the sector received a 2.8% pay increase in February 2022. However, the high levels of price inflation have meant that the value of this increase has been considerably eroded.  The decision to commence lodging claims follows an unproductive meeting with employer representatives at the Construction Industry Federation on Wednesday, 9th November 2022. According to John Regan, secretary of the CIC, the employer representatives said they were not prepared to engage in negotiations with the Congress Group of Unions representing construction workers on increases in pay which could reduce the impact of the sharp rise in the cost of living this year. “The CIF representatives said that they had they engaged extensively with their national employer membership who believed that the best place to deal with our claim for pay adjustments to pre-inflation levels is through a new application of the Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) for the construction industry,” Mr Regan said. “However, the second pay phase of the Construction SEO is a 2.8% increase from the 1st February 2023 which falls significantly short of the current inflation rate of some 9%. It was made clear that the construction employers, in the main, are not willing to engage in negotiations on the financial pressures facing workers in the industry.  “Our members are seeking what workers across the private and public sector have already received in the form of pay increases and other benefits in order to compensate for inflation. “As an agreement cannot be reached on this urgent matter, the CIC will commence lodging claims with employers while also consulting with members on possible responses up to, and including, industrial action. We will always retain the right to have an official dispute with any company that is not meaningfully engaging on the pay and conditions of construction workers.”  The CIC includes representatives of trade unions, SIPTU, OPATSI, UNITE, BATU and Connect.