The pay cut will affect 70,000 people who are still employed in construction.
At the start of July, the Labour Court ruled the legally binding rates which are set under a Registered Employment Agreement (REA) for the sector should be cut by 7.5% and the reduction should also apply to pay-related allowances.
In September members of the industry’s largest employer body, the Construction Industry Federation, voted to accept the recommendation, even though it had previously been pushing for a wage cut of as much as 20%.
The reduction had looked set to be rejected by the unions but yesterday the umbrella body for construction unions met to make their aggregate decision and, after a vote, it was decided to accept the reduction.
Fergus Whelan of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions told the Irish Examiner : “No one took pleasure in this, but the building workers themselves felt the most important thing was to retain the REA and if that meant a reduction in the rate, they were prepared to accept that.”
The Construction Industry Federation, which at the start of this month had been asking the court to press ahead and reduce the rate, said the vote in favour was welcome as it gives clarity to employers as they prepare for the future.