Friday, July 15, 2005

Reid briefed on Gibraltar MoD cuts

British Secretary of State for Defence, Dr John Reid, was yesterday briefed on the Ministry of Defence’s privatisation plans in Gibraltar, ahead of a meeting on the issue next week with Jack Dromey, deputy general secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union.

This was the first time that Dr Reid, who has overall responsibility for British defence policy, had looked closely at the Gibraltar privatisation plan since he took up the ministerial post after the general election last May.

He was informed of developments on the Rock by a team of MoD officials led by Susan Scholefield, Command Secretary at Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood, London.

Phil Mallion, Command Secretary at Headquarters British Forces Gibraltar, said the update would enable the defence minister to have “an informed discussion” with Mr Dromey, who is one of the most senior officials at national level within the TGWU.

Local TGWU officials, who are currently locked in a legal challenge against the MoD over the way it has handled the privatisation initiative, are not expected to attend the meeting.

Mr Mallion said the MoD had anticipated the degree of opposition its plans would generate locally, though he admitted that officials had been surprised by a recent court decision allowing the unions to sue the defence minister in the Supreme Court in Gibraltar.

But he repeated earlier statements that, in the long term, the MoD was confident that it would win the case once the underlying substantive issues were aired in court.

Related Links:

14 July 2005 - MoD refrain from appeal in Unions case

30 June 2005 - Contractorisation gets big 'NO'

29 June 2005 - Chief Justice gives Union go ahead to challenge cuts

19 April 2005 Unions declare a united front on MoD Contractorisation

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

Gibraltar News Online Contractorisation Poll

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