Strike action threatens recovery in construction sector putting construction jobs at risk - CIF
The Construction Industry Federation has called on Unite trade union to engage in what it described as "the normal industrial relations procedures."
Unite are currently demanding an 80pc increase in pay for crane drivers in membership of their union. However the CIF has said that this claim is "both unrealistic and unsustainable".
CIF, which represents construction companies and contractors, said that such an increase would significantly increase construction costs and put construction jobs across the industry at risk.
"A strike in the industry without utilising the normal industrial relations procedures is irresponsible and damaging, particularly at a time when there is a deficit of housing and other essential infrastructural projects," a spokesperson for the CIF said.
The CIF went on to say that it had sought to deal with this claim for increased pay for crane drivers through the agreed processes and protocols in accordance with custom and practice in the industry.
However, Unite served strike notice on the industry, thereby bypassing the normal agreed dispute resolution procedures, the CIF has said.
The CIF went on to say that all of the construction unions, including Unite, served a pay claim on the industry and this claim is being dealt with through the Labour Court in the form of a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) for the construction industry.
This SEO will set legally binding rates of pay for all workers in the industry, including crane drivers, the CIF said.
"All stakeholders support the concept of an SEO as it will bring certainty to labour costs in the industry allowing for better planning and investment. The outcome of the Labour Court hearing into the SEO is due shortly," a spokesperson for the CIF said.