Thursday, February 24, 2005

Gibraltar not Basra or Kosovo, says Caruana

Gibraltar is not Basra or Kosovo, and it is deeply regrettable that anyone in the MoD should consider it necessary to warn personnel not to walk around in uniform because they could incur bodily harm.

Mr Caruana said it was unfortunate and that this was the first time in 300 years that a memo with such contents had been circulated.

Responding to other questions, Mr Caruana said that the Gibraltar Government was not at the stage of seeking a financial package from the British Government along the lines of the dockyard closure, because this would be on the presumption that the MoD would implement its plan. Mr Caruana said the Gibraltar Government will be initiating a political lobbying campaign to stop this. He also warned against the job precariousness that contractorisation would bring about, and that a good employer could not expect to shirk its responsibilities to the workforce.

Asked about the political significance of the move, Mr Caruana added that the less well the MoD treat their employees, more people will say 'what's in it for Gibraltar.' However he did not think it would have political implications and that this was a case of a workforce defending their "human right" to withdraw its labour to protect its employment and not allowing the MoD to do as they please.

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