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Congress construction unions vote to protect pay rates in the sector

Date Released: 15 September 2020

The members of the unions making up Congress Construction Industry Committee (BATU, Connect, OPATSI, SIPTU and UNITE) have today overwhelmingly voted for industrial action in the event that employers fail to pay a 2.7% increase due on the 1st October, 2020.

Earlier this year the High Court judged that legislation allowing for the making of Sectoral Employment Orders (SEO’s) were unconstitutional. However, a stay has been put on this judgement and all SEO’s currently in place have the force of law.

Under the general construction SEO, a pay increase of 2.7% is due to be paid on the 1st October 2020. Employers are required to pay this increase and a failure to do so will be a breach of the SEO and unlawful.

Commenting on the result Congress General Secretary Patricia King said "today's result shows that workers in the construction sector are determined that employers will not be allowed to renege on their legal responsibilities and we expect that employers will abide by the law and pay the 2.7% increase. Employers who fail to do so will be pursued and workers will take industrial action if necessary".

The Chairperson of the Congress Construction Industry Committee, Billy Wall, said that "today’s result shows a real determination on the part of union members in the sector to defend their hard-won conditions of employment. Workers in the sector have worked hard during the public health emergency to keep construction sites open and working. The 2.7% increase is the least they deserve".

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