The trade union Unite has rejected a pay offer from mechanical employers following more than two days of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
The union described the offer as 'wholly inadequate' and has instead sought that the matter be advanced to the Labour Court.
Unite had submitted a claim for an 11% pay increase and the trade union Connect had sought 8%.
Employers responded with an offer of 3.5% in September this year, followed by 1.9% in August next year.
Unite said the offer failed to address the continuing erosion of workers’ purchasing power in the context of high living costs.
"Nor does it go any way to compensate the cost-of-living crisis workers have been experiencing over the last two years," Unite said in a statement.
"In the absence of an acceptable outcome, we believe it will be necessary to ballot our members for industrial action to defend their living standards."