Irish construction workers involved in security fencing projects will face a 7.5 per cent cut to the minimum wage after unions voted to agree on a reduction with the Labour Court.

The cut will affect the 70,000 people employed in construction in Ireland, Construction Enquirer said.

In July, the Labour Court ruled the sector's rates should be cut by 7.5 per cent.

In September, members of the Construction Industry Federation, which had been wanting a cut of 20 per cent, accepted the wage reduction, the construction industry news provider said.

Fergus Whelan, a member of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, was quoted by Construction Enquirer as telling the Irish Examiner: "No one took pleasure in this, but the building workers themselves felt the most important thing was to retain the REA (Registered Employment Agreement) and if that meant a reduction in the rate, they were prepared to accept that."

During last month's protests in Dublin over the bailout of the Irish government, Mick Wallace told the Guardian he had had to lay off 100 workers due to the crash in the construction industry.ADNFCR-3337-ID-800299385-ADNFCR