Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Row over sick-pay prompts walkout

Spanish workers employed by construction contractor PCG Group staged an impromptu walkout yesterday over grievances relating to sick pay and work conditions.

About 60 employees marched peacefully to the Transport and General Workers Union building to request assistance in resolving their dispute.

At the heart of the row are claims that PCG Group had on several occasions refused to accept Spanish medical certificates and pay those concerned for sick leave.

“We are not saying that we will not work,” said one man. “All we want is to be paid and treated fairly.”

A management spokesman at PCG Group described the dispute as a “misunderstanding” and said the company was working to resolve any issues of unpaid sick leave. He said the problems had arisen because of confusion over interpreting Spanish medical certificates and that the company was looking to formalise procedures for sick leave in order to avoid a repetition in the future. It is also considering retaining the services of a private doctor in Gibraltar to take care of any medical problems within its workforce.

Union officials and management at the company have agreed to meet to discuss the various issues raised by the workers.

PCG Group carries out construction work on Ministry of Defence sites, three of which were at a standstill during yesterday’s action.

“It’s obvious that if you have 60 guys who are not working, then it’s a problem,” the management spokesman said.


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