Unite was stunned last October when construction employers imposed a wage freeze under the industry’s main pay agreement.
The Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) agreement sets minimum rates for more than 500,000 construction workers.
But now some of the same trade bodies who pushed for the CIJC pay freeze have voted for pay increases and bonuses for managers of the CSCS skills card scheme.
Remuneration for CSCS bosses is voted through by a board which contains representatives of trade bodies including Build UK and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.
An industry source said: “This is a case of complete double standards.
“When the workers wanted a pay rise after all their efforts last year it was a flat no.
“Yet higher pay and bonuses for the CSCS management was simply waived through by the very same trade bodies.”
A spokesperson for Unite said: “The decision to refuse to give construction workers covered by the CIJC a pay rise this year was a disgrace.
“These workers have continued to work throughout the pandemic in highly challenging and stressful conditions, in the constant knowledge they were potentially risking their health. The only thanks they receive is a pay cut in real terms.
“Yet when it came to the CSCS employees, who have been able to work from home during the pandemic, not only did the employers’ side consider it appropriate to give them a pay rise in line with RPI but also gave them the maximum possible bonus.”