Monday, February 28, 2005

The Government will make it very difficult for MoD contractors to trade in Gibraltar, say Unions

Military base industrial dispute intensifies

The Gibraltar Government will be making it extremely difficult for any contractor to come into Gibraltar to take the MoD jobs, TGWU sources said to the Chronicle at the weekend.

Among the measures that the Chief Minister is reportedly considering making the main ISP contractor accept a compulsory statutory occupational pension for every former MoD employee it takes on, and also introducing measures to increase the redundancy payment agreement applicable to Gibraltar. According to Union sources, a reactivation of the fair wages clause is another of the measures currently being studied by Convent Place. The TGWU said that the measures announced by the Chief Minister Peter Caruana last week were aimed at making potential contractors understand that they will not have an easy time in Gibraltar and that the operation will be made as expensive as possible for them.

As regards the dispute with the MoD the Gibraltar Trades Council met on Friday to discuss the plan of industrial action and how and when it will be implemented as from this week.

Meanwhile the TGWU has said it wished to clarify that Thursday’s press conference by the GSLP (Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party) where a delegation of the Gibraltar Trades Council and the other Unions were present, was not a joint press conference and should not be interpreted as a move by the Unions toward the political position defended by Joe Bossano. “The Union does not support any political party,” said a spokesman.

Speaking to the Chronicle the spokesman said that the Unions were supporting both the Government and the Opposition in the stand they were taking, and that the fact that they were present during the press conference was because of a coincidence of timings, since their meeting with the GSLP had been scheduled for the same time.

Meanwhile Transport House has also declared that the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce have asked to meet the TGWU this week to be informed of the situation in the MoD before making public their own views on the contractorisation dispute.

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