Major employers have proposed no pay increase following continuous 2-year pay freeze (Pictured: construction of £116m Commonwealth Games velodrome, Glasgow)

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Construction unions representing up to half a million workers have accused employers of treating them with contempt after proposing an across-the-board pay freeze.

(Pictured: construction in progress at £116m Glasgow Commonwealth Games velodrome)

The charge follows an initial meeting of negotiators earlier this week, when employers declined to make a pay offer.

UCATT general secretary Steve Murphy said: “The employers’ side have offered absolutely nothing on any of the proposals the joint unions put forward in their pay claim.

“We have given the employers a window of opportunity to reconsider their position and there is still time for them to come to their senses and return with a realistic offer.”

It follows a statement on Wednesday from the Office for National Statistics that output in the construction industry fell by 4.8% compared to its initial estimate last month of 3%.

However, unions say profits are still high for most of the industry and there is no reason why employers should not offer a proper pay rise.

John Allott, Unite’s national officer for construction, said: “The simple fact of the matter is that the employers don’t get it, construction workers simply can’t make ends meet. The employers are seeking to maintain their profits at the expense of hard working construction workers.”

Analysts say Coalition government cuts have begun to hit many parts of the construction industry and that private sector construction is not growing quickly enough to offset these.

However, some major projects such as Crossrail in London, nuclear and renewable projects are regarded as a cause for some optimism

Phil Davies, GMB national secretary for the industry said; “Our members have suffered low pay for too long and now enough is enough.”

Both sides have agree that pay negotiations will reconvene on Monday 11th June.


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