SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “The claim advanced by SIPTU on behalf of our members and by other trade unions in the construction sector is for 12% over a three year period. This claim would form part of a new SEO for the industry and is in line with other growing and profitable sectors in our economy. An SEO will give stability and clarity on pay for workers in the industry. At a time of huge profits in the sector our members justifiably feel that they deserve their share in the substantial gains being made by employers. Instead, what we are seeing are attempts by employers to cap the entry level wage for construction workers at € 28,000. This is unacceptable. There must be progress on wages if the construction industry is to keep up with demand.”

He added: “The biggest problem the construction industry is facing is attracting and retaining workers. This can only be achieved by the industry providing wages which are adequate. A new SEO also requires employers and unions working together to create long-term stability in the sector through the enforcement of agreed conditions of employment and the adequate provision of apprenticeships.”