CIF looking for reduction in builders' wages

Listening to Tom Parlon on Morning Ireland this morning.
( … 5,real,209 if anyone is interested.)

CIF are looking for a 20% reduction in the union-agreed wage rate for construction general operatives. Currently this is €18.64 an hour, if I heard right. Parlon also mentioned that builders get expenses for travelling (commuting?) to work, also at 18.64 an hour.
So, if I have understood this correctly, a labourer who does a 7.5 hour day, then an hour’s overtime a day at time and a half, then drives an hour to work and an hour home, gets paid over €1,000 a week gross?

Basic Wages 37.5 x 18.64 = 699
Overtime 5 x 27.96 = 140
Travel Expense 10 x 18.64 = 186
Total 699+140+186 = 1025

Over 50k a year for an unskilled labourer? A potentially 18-y.o. school-leaver with no qualifications or experience? Am I wrong in thinking this is absolute madness?
I never thought I’d agree with Tom Parlon on anything…

I remember being laughed at by said labourers back in 2006 whenever wages were discussed :frowning:

Not just construction either. Have a browse.
Registered Employment Agreements

These are being challenged in the labour court and according to the NECI a much delayed decision is now due 30th June 2010 but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

This probably sounds unpatriotic but being competitive especially with our neighbours should be good for all of society.

Here’s the rebuilding cost calculator for the UK, including Northern Ireland. It’s produced by the RICS.

here’s the rebuilding cost estimate pamphlet from the Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCS) in Ireland. … ublication

Even with the exchange rate of 0.80, we’re still 100% more expensive than the North. So next time you have a major building project consider our neighbours up North - they’re not Bangladeshi children working 12hour days, they’re an advanced economy and they can do the work for 50% of our costs.

Whats more higher rebuilding costs presumably means higher insurance costs - hence pushing up the cost base for everybody

We had a piece done on this a while back … 0Agreement

Nice piece of info gathering and pointing out the craziness of paying what is probably the lower end of the industrial food chain too much i.e. everybody suffers as costs run out of control. But if we extrapolate that out and begin to include senior civil servants and measure then against their counter-parts in other European countries and I include Doctors in this then you can see the madness is not restricted to construction, its just more obvious there.

I know of building contractors that actually have been offered work and have workers willing to work for them for lower wages but cannot take the contracts because of the REA.

How crazy is that? The workers will remain on SW and the building company will fail so they will also be on SW. Those REA’s were agreed when times were good and that is no longer the case especially in construction.

So why don’t they simply plough ahead if the workers are onboard.

Because NERA come in and audit and will close them down and make them pay backpay to workers

NERA? looks like a quango to me. Plough ahead says I. Nothing to lose.

I’m reminded of McWilliams analogy of the slaughter of friend troops in WWI.

Death to Quango’s, Life to living.

See NERA they have enforcement rights


Nera are tough sons of bitches, and anybody covered under a REA wont fuck with them.

On another note we have had a simlar discusssion about a dishwashers minimum wage, approx 20k a year, on the signs of depression thread.

As far as I can see the average salary is estimated in the early 30’s on this site. There is a widespread view, in Irland, that this is a “low wage” but if its average, is it low? In any event the rest of the developed world, with whom we compete with, don’t pay builders labours 50k, or dishwashers 20k, Consultant doctors 250k, or… well pick your job.

The key lesson isn’t being picked.

If a kid can leave school & earn 50k+ humping bricks; then they will. If enough kids do this, then any chance of a ‘knowledge economy’ go up in smoke.

If learning has no benefit; then who in their right mind will go to college & risk failure & expense, when they can just get a well paying job with no risk.

There has to be a differential between the wages of skilled & non-skilled work or our economy is fucked forever.

I cannot understand why every employer including the government can reduce wages but any employer covered by an REA cant.

If wages cannot come down in very labour intensive industries such as construction and hotel and catering then how can there be a recovery? If more hotels and building companies go to the wall because of this we have to pay higher taxes to cover the extra SW and lost taxes from people who could be employed.

And then there is the fact that a lot of these hotels have gone to NAMA and we are paying for that as well…

It is crazy for unions to keep insisting that REA’s stay in place. They should all be thrown out as they are boom time agreements.

In this case I woudl ignore NERA and plough ahead.

In this case the workers are willing to do the work. Perhpas a new compnay or co-op can be formed not covered by NERA.

If they use the nationla minimum wage as there low water point they have the moral case won.

If its a case of cutting the nose to spite the face so a few Quango CEO’s can enjoy no pay cuts or loss of income?

I doubt things will last much longer to support such prime stupidity. I can yes live in hope.

OW, you are so far off base it’s ridiculous.

This is what you are essentially proposing! … -04-05.htm

I like the list of “industries” NERA has ended up with special regulations for, nice to know provender millers and handkerchief makers are so well protected. These lucky industries will be thriving as thankfully they’ve a quango on their side.

(However a worrying note for Victorian era fans - nothing about chimney sweeps or farriers.) … formation/

Aerated Water and Wholesale Bottling Drapery Hairdressing Handkerchief and Household Piece Goods Law Clerks Mushrooms Printing Provender Milling Retail Grocery Security Industry Shirtmaking Tailoring Women's Clothing

Did I hear Parlon say he had taken a 20% paycut and got rid of his car? Cuts start at the top country Tom.

My cousin and a lot of his mates are in this category. All on the dole since late 2008 with no improvement in sight.
They left school as early as they could and went into construction. Made a lot of money from 2002-06; got to the point where the cousin was employing five or six people. But when my mother asked him in 2005 what he’d do when the building work dried up, he just looked at her blankly. I don’t think it had occurred to him that this might happen. This guy left school at 17 in the late 90s so he’d never seen a full recession up close.