Saturday, March 05, 2005

TUC set to back resistance to MoD cuts

MoD cuts will be devastating on Gibraltar’s economy and the Trades Union Congress will support the bid to halt the cuts. That was the position as stated by TUC president Brendan Barber.

In an interview with GBC Focus he said he thinks the move brings into question the strong sense of commitment that Gibraltar has relied on from Britain and the MoD.

Mr Barber said that he suspected the decision has been taken simply on financial grounds but that did not mean it was a fair or well founded decision. He criticised the cutting of costs at the expense of the terms and conditions of the workers who deliver the services.

The effect of that all too often has been demoralisation and the services have not improved but got worse. This is a bad decision and the (UK) Government ought to start rethinking fast, he said.

Mr Barber said that consultation should have taken place and that in UK new legislation is about to come into force obliging genuine consultation. He said the move in Gibraltar had been offensive and there should now be genuine talks rather than this forced decision. TUC would back the fight to get the decision reviewed and Mr Barber has already raised the issue with the Foreign Office. He said that the ties between the unions in Britain and Gibraltar are very strong. And he did not believe that the unions in Britain will be relaxed about this and they will support Gibraltar.

He said that MoD ministers will have to deal with the people and issues properly.

With over 900,000 members in every type of workplace the T&GWU is the UK’s biggest general union. Prospect Union has more than 104,000 members in the public and private sectors.

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