At the initial meeting of the 2012 Construction Industry Joint Council this week, the employers declined to make a pay offer, the unions have disclosed.
The CIJC is the largest construction industry agreement covering the pay and terms of conditions of up to 500,000 workers.
Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy said: “The unions and construction workers have been treated with complete contempt as the employers’ side have offered absolutely nothing on any of the proposals the joint unions put forward in their pay claim.
“We have given the employers a window of opportunity to reconsider their position and there is still time for them to come to their senses and return with a realistic offer.”
Unite national officer for construction John Allott said: “The simple fact of the matter is that the employers don’t get it, construction workers simply can’t make ends meet. The employers are seeking to maintain their profits at the expense of hard working construction workers.”
GMB’s national secretary for construction Phil Davies added: “Our members have suffered low pay for too long and now enough is enough.”
Pay negotiations will reconvene on Monday 11 June 2012.