Friday, March 18, 2005

Union seeks injunction against MoD “unethical & illegal” policy

TGWU offensive against contractorisation

Britain cannot have a military base on the Rock predicated on cheap labour and degrading the working class of Gibraltar, TGWU District Officer Luis Montiel said to the Chronicle yesterday.

In a statement issued last night, Mr Montiel also stated that according to their legal advice from Hassans, the conduct of the MoD in respect of the contractorisation, “has breached the law of the Transfer of Undertaking Directive (
TUPE
) applicable in Gibraltar.”

“We are actively considering taking proceedings for an injunction to ensure that the MoD complies with the law relating to contractorisation,” said Mr Montiel after consultation with Leading Counsel.

A TGWU statement continued:

Hampering the Union in this aim is the fact that Gibraltar has colonial legislation that does not allow ordinary citizens or indeed the Union to sue the British Government in the Gibraltar Courts. The Union is considering taking proceedings in the English Courts and if appropriate in the Court of Human Rights.

The Union deplores this colonial state of affairs in Gibraltar, which prohibits it from taking legal action against illegal activity by the MOD and welcomes the fact that the Gibraltar Government is actively considering this state of affairs.

The TGWU which represent 90% of the workers in the MOD, remains committed to opposing the contractorisation and will do everything in its power including taking legal and industrial action if the MOD does not desist from this unethical and illegal policy.

The Union states that the only solution to the issue is for the MOD to climb down from its high horse and negotiate with the Union on the basis of the in-house proposals that were being considered in the recent past. The MOD action has the direct effect of causing irreparable damage to Gibraltar and its citizens and also designed to dilute the conditions of employment of the loyal MOD employees.

It is clear that the British Government cannot have a base in Gibraltar predicated on cheap labour and degrading the working class of Gibraltar. The Union is totally opposed to this unfair contractorisation and will use every means at its disposal
to ensure that it does not happen.

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