Pay freeze over for thousands of site workers

Grant Prior 14 years ago
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Thousands of site workers at small and medium sized contractors will get a pay rise this year following a 12-month wages freeze.

Talks between employers and the unions via the Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC)  have resulted in agreement on a 2% increase to the three headline rates of pay effective from Monday 13thSeptember 2010.

Richard Diment, Director-General of the Federation of Master Builders said: “Once again the length and severity of the recession in the construction sector has made for a very tough round of negotiations with both sides doing what they can to help workers cope with the increasing financial pressures, but without endangering jobs. Both we and our colleagues at Unite feel that this solution will achieve this very difficult balancing act.

“While our own State of Trade Survey shows that the trading environment for our members has continued to deteriorate, the rate of deterioration seems to be slowing, and there are signs that members are more optimistic about the future.

“With this in mind, we feel that this settlement will be deliverable at the time of the implementation date. We feel that it is important to have a pay increase in order to recognise the contribution that workers have made to helping businesses survive through the recession, and to retain their skills that will be essential to the recovery of the industry.”

Bob Blackman, National Secretary for Construction at Unite, said: “While the settlement is not as generous as we would have liked, we have to acknowledge that the industry is still in decline and that any recovery will be slow.

“As such the preservation of jobs must remain a priority for our members while still trying to do what we can to lessen the impact of what has been a savage recession in the sector. This settlement shows that BATJIC can continue its proud record of delivering real improvements in pay and conditions for construction workers, even in the most difficult conditions.

“What is essential is that, whoever forms the next government after May 6th, economic recovery must be the priority, and as part of that it is essential that construction spending is maintained given that the sector is the most efficient at converting public money into jobs and valuable national infrastructure.”

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