Friday, April 15, 2005

No progress in Union-MoD Contractorisation talks

Crisis at the military base

TGWU and Prospect Union will be pressing ahead with legal action against the Ministry of Defence’s intention to contractorise services in the military base, District Officer Luis Montiel confirmed to the Chronicle last night.

Meanwhile the Unions are seeking a meeting with Secretary of State for Defence Geoff Hoon at the earliest opportunity “in the hope that this will lead to a mutually acceptable and just solution.”

These are the two main conclusions following the high-level meeting held in London yesterday between UK and local representatives of the TGWU and Prospect, with senior MOD officials to discuss the proposed contractorisation of the military base.

Mr Montiel reiterated the Union’s belief that the MoD plan is an “injustice.” The TGWU leader said:

“The meeting was held on a without prejudice basis. This means that it was held “off the record”, so that the parties could informally express their views to each other without prejudicing their respective legal positions.

Whilst the unions cannot therefore publicly comment on the matters discussed, we can assure our members that we made the strongest possible representations to the MoD about the injustice of the proposed contractorisation, making clear what action we propose to take in the interests of our members if the matter is not promptly, satisfactorily and amicably resolved.

The unions are able to say at this stage that we have agreed with MoD to seek an early meeting with the Secretary of State for Defence. In the meantime, the unions are pressing ahead with the preparation of our legal case with a view to initiating legal action without delay if an agreed solution cannot be found quickly. The trade unions in UK are fully supporting TGWU and Prospect members in Gibraltar.”

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