Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Union declare all out 'battle against MoD Privatisation move

TGWU link support for base to jobs - Sisarello declares “industrial unrest”

Gibraltar's trade unions have said that they will be implementing a policy of confrontation and industrial unrest, to counter the "totally unacceptable" decision by the Ministry of Defence to privatise 300 local jobs. In a statement to the Chronicle yesterday TGWU Branch Officer Charles Sisarello said the Unions were angry and "will fight this battle to the end," because there are "hundreds of jobs at stake and cannot accept a situation that affects MoD employees and has repercussions for the local economy in indirect employment and other areas."

This will mean a drastic change in the political situation as regards the military presence in Gibraltar," said the Union spokesman.

Mr Sisarello also revealed that the Unions (TGWU/ACTS and Prospect) will be seeking the full support of the Gibraltar Trades Council, the local Government, Opposition, Chamber of Commerce and other political and social organisations on the Rock.

Our struggle will be undertaken at both a trade union and political level. We will be supporting our members in industrial unrest and also working together with all political parties for the same objective," he declared.

Mr Sisarello further stated that people in Gibraltar have always been supportive of the military presence including visits and repairs to nuclear submarines for one reason - "1,000 jobs available for local families," but this was now changing to "a military base with no jobs," that, say the Union, "will have an impact in the minds of the local population."

Mr Sisarello continued: "We are in a situation where the MoD is not saying that there is no work available in the military base, but that the work available will be undertaken by outsourcing and not necessarily by the local workforce." He added:

The UK Government has rejected the understanding reached between the local management and the Unions regarding budgetary measures outlined last year and how this could be achieved without the need to privatise services. The UK Government proposals are a done deal with no room to manoeuvre for the Unions, since consultation and negotiations are not available.

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