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Minimum rate raised to £6 an hour

BRITAIN'S small and medium sized builders have agreed a 6.2 per cent pay increase for 200,000 construction workers.

The deal thrashed out between the Federation of Master Builders and transport union TGWU will see hourly craft rates rise to £7.75 from £7.30 and general operative rates to £6 from £5.65.

The one-year deal comes into force in June and includes increased employer pension contributions and travel allowances.

Federation director general Ian Davis said: 'As the new arrangements will not apply until June 9, this gives time to prepare future estimates on a more certain cost basis.'

TGWU national construction secretary Bob Blackman said:

'We believe this is a positive deal overall for 200,000 construction workers and we have established a minimum rate of £6.'