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Employers reject union claim for £10 an hour for skilled construction workers

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CONSTRUCTION workers will still not know by how much their pay is to increase when the current industry wages and conditions agreement runs out in June.

Talks to thrash out a new three-year deal between unions andemployers have been progressing at a painfully slow pace.

Now both sides are likely to bust the June deadline after the latest meeting broke up last week.

The next round of negotiations is set for May 15.

Bob Blackman, national construction secretary of transport union TGWU, said: 'So far we have only talked about conditions and haven't even got round to discussing our differences over wage rates.'

Union leaders from the TGWU, construction union Ucatt and general union GMB have submitted a pay claim of £10 an hour for skilled workers.

But that has been rejected by bosses at the Construction Confederation, who are offering a maximum of £6.80 an hour in staged increases over the next three years.

The union claim represents a66 per cent rise on the current rate of £6.05 an hour, compared with the employers' offer of 12.4 per cent over three years.

Mr Blackman said: 'Construction workers are looking to realise a significant rise in their standard of living. Employers want a three-year deal but they have to make it worthwhile.'

A Construction Confederation source said: 'The talks are progressing well and we will be looking to settle any differences.'