Tuesday, June 28, 2005

GTC urges mass turn out at MoD demo

• BMA, NASUWT and VOGG add support

Edwin Reyes, president of the Gibraltar Trades Council, yesterday called on all trade union members from Prospect (GGCA), TGWU/ACTS and NASUWT to rally at Casemates Square tomorrow in support of the mass demonstration against the privatisation plans at the Naval Base.

The GTC also called for support from the private sector in allowing employees to join the demonstration, “as the loss of MoD jobs will have a wider impact on the economy of Gibraltar in the foreseeable future.”

Individual trades unions also issued statements calling on their members to attend the protest, which convenes at 10am in Casemates and will then march to the Convent, where a petition outlining the unions’ opposition to the privatisation will be handed to the Governor.

But the unions’ rallying call was not without an element of controversy, this time over plans to keep schools open with a skeleton staff of teachers.

The NASUWT/GTA, which represents the teaching community, pledged its full support to the demonstration but regretted that it would only be able to send a “representation” to the march.

“NASUWT/GTA is dismayed that a full representation cannot be sent in view of the fact that, although Government has facilitated the attendance of civil servants in support of MoD workers, it has not allowed the same opportunity for all teachers, who are also civil servants, wishing to show their solidarity by attending,” the NASUWT/GTA said in a statement.

“NASUWT/GTA takes exception to the fact that the professionalism of teachers is often undermined and reminds the Government and public that teachers are educators and not merely child minders.

NASUWT/GTA feels that in instances of this nature, the same criteria for attendance at demonstrations should be facilitated to our members, as it is with other non-essential services, to enable all to attend.”

The GTC took note of the teachers’ dilemma.

“We thank the Gibraltar Teacher’s Association for keeping the schools open with a skeleton staff in order to allow parents the freedom to attend the demonstration,” the GTC said.

Seperately, Moroccan Workers’ Association also issued a statement in support of the demonstration against the MoD’s plans, which it said would also affect members of the Moroccan community. It urged all Moroccans resident in Gibraltar to attend tomorrow’s march.

BMA Support

Ahead of the demonstration on Wednesday against MOD plans to privatise jobs the doctor’s union the BMA has expressed support for the workers affected.

“The Gibraltar General practitioners branch of the BMA would like to congratulate the Chief Minister, Mr Caruana, on his robust defence of MOD workers, on GBC (Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation) Viewpoint, last Thursday night. He also reiterated his unequivocal support for the principle of parity with the U.K. workers. The MOD workers have the full support of our affiliated union,” said the BMA.

VOGG

The VOGG (Voice of Gibraltar Group), expressing support said no-one can, by now, be in any doubt as to the dire consequences of the MOD’s ‘plans’, not just for the workers concerned, but for Gibraltar’s economy as a whole.

They said that the recent court hearing highlighted the “precarious constitutional situation the Gibraltarians find themselves in because of the prevailing colonial status.”

Urging a massive turnout that said there should be “No more ‘a ver que pasa’ and let everybody, together, make ‘it’ happen. …Surely, ‘el miercoles loco’ and the morning’s ‘telebasura’ can be dispensed with on the day.”

Related Links:

Gibraltar News Online Contractorisation Poll

28 June 2005 - Government Regrets Teachers' Union Dismay

21 June 2005 - Unions and MoD clash in court

26 May 2005 MoD Contractorisation hearing set for June

12 May 2005 Unions escalate MoD dispute

19 April 2005 Unions declare a united front on MoD Contractorisation

15 April 2005 No progress in Union-MoD Contractorisation talks

12 April 2005 MPs urge Hoon to halt ‘Done Deal’

05 April 2005 MoD rejects Union lawsuit threat

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