Tuesday, February 15, 2005

MOD Job cuts bombshell

Ingram spells out “efficiency savings”

F Oliva reports

The Ministry of Defence is planning to contractorise over 300 jobs in Gibraltar, it emerged yesterday as details of the visit of Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram filtered through.

TGWU District Officer Luis Montiel declared this was a first step that could lead to significant job losses in the long term for Gibraltar. Responding to Chronicle questions Mr Montiel described this as “a betrayal of the relationship between the TGWU and the MoD on the Rock.” Mr Montiel said that the MoD generating station and water plant would be the first departments targeted for contractorisation. Meanwhile the TGWU has already requested a meeting with the Commander of British Forces at the earliest opportunity, to obtain more details of the MoD plans.

Earlier Chief Minister Peter Caruana said it had made it clear to the Armed Forces Minister and the MoD that the Gibraltar Government was “firmly opposed to contractorisation and the direct and indirect exportation of local MoD jobs.”

A Gibraltar Government spokesman said:

Last Thursday afternoon the Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram met with the Chief Minister and gave him an outline preliminary briefing on MoD’s future plans for Gibraltar, in the context of plans elsewhere, including the effects on the labour force of budget cuts in Gibraltar and so-called “efficiency savings.

The Chief Minister met with TGWU/ACTS and Prospect yesterday morning to brief them on what he was told at his meeting with Mr Ingram. It has been indicated to the Trade Unions by MoD that they will be informed of the proposals by the MoD on Wednesday. Government will make a public statement, and will meet again with union officials, later this week after the Unions have been told by the MoD the details of what they propose.

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