Friday, March 04, 2005

Sisarello talking nonsense - says Goncalves

State of dispute at frontier continues - Officers earn over £20,000 annual average

TGWU has withdrawn the selective industrial action at Security and Immigration Ltd, the company that controls entry points into Gibraltar but implemented work to rule instead, company managing director John Goncalves confirmed to the Chronicle last night. As the state of dispute continues, Mr Goncalves will be seeking clarification from the Union as to how this will affect their operations.

Meanwhile in a statement issued yesterday, Mr Goncalves has defended the company’s position and says officers “are very well looked after,” giving details of the pay/overtime rates, generous allowances, bonuses and salaries paid out to employees.

Mr Goncalves also denied statements made by TGWU Branch Officer Charles Sisarello to GBC (Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation) that SIL officers were being paid the minimum wage of £5 per hour. “This is total nonsense,” he said.

Mr Goncalves explained that out of the total workforce of 50, 39 earn over £7 basic pay an hour, with only 2 officers on £5.68 and the rest on over £6 an hour, while average gross earnings for an officer was £20,002.31. It has also emerged that under the contract to the Gibraltar Government, the officers cannot have any claim on Government. Mr Goncalves added:

It is also worthwhile pointing out that officers work on a week on/week off shift pattern which the majority have declared that they would like to keep and a number actually carry out their jobs during their week-off.

The company also contributed close to £60,000 toward their pension scheme in 2004. The officers also receive a bonus from Terminal Management Ltd for full attendance throughout the year and in our opinion are very well looked after.

Finally the officers have been told on many occasions starting from the time when applying for the job, that Security and Immigration Ltd is a private company which has a contract with Government to carry out a number of duties in return for a fee. It is stressed that they cannot have any claim on government and that their salaries will be increased annually in relation to the Index of Retail Prices.

The company has attempted once successfully and twice unsuccessfully to increase its contract fee to improve the officers’ salaries. The company has also on many occasions advised the officers that if they fail to carry out their duties as directed by management, the company is failing to meet its contractual obligations and may be held in breach of contract with all resulting consequences. Sadly this is the present position.

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