Construction union UCATT are planning to hold a fresh wave of demonstrations, after employers blocked proposals to ensure that workers employed under the largest construction agreement receive the London Living Wage.
Earlier this month the employers’ side of the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) side rejected proposals made by UCATT to ensure that the London Living Wage would be introduced into the agreement from June 2016.
In response UCATT are now planning a series of demonstrations which could affect construction sites in the capital and will target the employment federations which made the decision. These demonstrations will take place in the coming weeks.
Currently the London Living Wage is set at £9.15 an hour and even with the recent 3% pay increase the General operative (the lowest rate) for the CIJC is just £8.52 an hour, a difference of £0.63 an hour and £24.57 a week. When as expected the London Living Wage rises later this year an even greater number of workers employed under the CIJC will be paid below the rate.
Jerry Swain Regional Secretary of the London and South East Region, said: “UCATT came forward with proposals that would allow the London Living Wage to be implemented next June . The employers’ side would not even consider these proposals.
“It is disgusting that employers are boosting their profits by employing construction workers employed in hard physically demanding roles at below the rate of pay needed to live on.”
Mr Swain added: “As the employers have blocked the negotiations then it is time for their greed to be exposed. Workers and the general public need to know who is responsible for ensuring that construction workers are earning a pittance.”
The union’s proposals were designed to give employers the maximum possible time to implement the changes and to minimise disruption to contractors’ budgets.
Mr Swain further added: “It is clear that employers are more than prepared for many construction workers to be forced to rely on state benefits in order to ensure they and their families can survive.”