Wednesday, February 23, 2005

GTC pledges full backing for MoD workers

Trade union leaders yesterday left a meeting with the Chief Minister Peter Caruana determined to unite and act against the MOD plans to privatise hundreds of local jobs.

Edwin Reyes the Gibraltar Trades Council president told the Chronicle last night that the GTC is "fully on board in support of the T&G and Prospect." "Our main concern is that the MoD does not want to negotiate but has just presented a fait accompli," said Mr Reyes as he left the meeting with fellow union readers. They are not now committing themselves to what action they might take but will continue consulting local political parties - they meet with Opposition leader Joe Bossano today - before adopting an action plan.

Mr Reyes was appalled that there was no clear statement as yet on what the exact cuts will be on the local workforce and asked if MoD are actually committed to keeping certain levels employed.
He said that if there is no shortage of jobs this would simply be MoD passing on responsibilities as employer to the contractor. He said that if their budget is constricted they should have said so and then consulted with the unions. But he warned that the employees' prospects would not be at the mercy of sub-contractors' profit margins.

Mr Reyes said the meeting with the Chief Minister had been frank and that the unions were seeking the recalling of the Representative Bodies Committee because of then implications of this not just for the workers, but for the whole economy.

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