The President of the Workers Party Michael
Finnegan has condemned the Labour Court’s recommendation of a 7.5% cut in the pay of building workers.
Mr. Finnegan said that the Labour
Court’s contention that cutting pay in the construction industry would increase competitiveness and encourage private
investment in building was a nonsense, saying the real problem in the construction industry was the vastly inflated price
of building land.
“The Labour Court’s
recommendation will not create a single job in the construction industry. It will not sell one single additional house.
All it will do is put more money in the bloated bank accounts of property speculators who, having milked the building industry
for all it was worth, are now crying the poor mouth and demanding that workers make sacrifices when they are not prepared
to make any.”
“For many years the Workers
Party has called for the implementation of the Kenny Report on the price of building land. Despite the recession
we continue to see vast sums of money paid for land, particularly in Dublin.”
“Building workers have already
suffered heavily as a result of the collapse of the industry which was in part caused by many of those in the Construction
Industry Federation who made vast profits during the boom. Many construction firms also added to their obscene
profits by, most notoriously, illegally pocketing their employees’ pension contributions or paying slave wages to workers
from non-EU states or from the recent accession states.”
“Construction workers in general
have shorter working careers due to the hard work and harsh conditions in their industry. Construction continues to have high
levels of workplace deaths, serious accidents, and occupational illnesses. They too have mortgages to pay and
families to feed. It is reprehensible to ask them to fund the trophy homes and millionaire lifestyles of the construction
barons”, said Mr. Finnegan.
Issued 2nd July 2010