Thursday, October 20, 2005

MoD pressing Unions to move ahead with 'in-house' proposal


Gibraltar’s trade unions are meeting with lawyers today to consider the way ahead in their dispute with the Ministry of Defence over contractorisation.

An ‘in-house’ option would require the local workforce and management to propose an arrangement that would be competitive with commercial proposals that have been tendered to MoD since they advertised earlier this year for a provider.

Legal action by the union against MoD seeking to halt contractorisation remains suspended and the union leaders here will be examining the contents of a reply that came this week from Defence Secretary Dr John Reid to representations by TGWU and Prospect. But the MoD is known to be keen to see movement on this issue following a long spate of unhappy exchanges between the unions here and the MoD in UK often via the unions’ main UK offices.

Only last week Commodore Allan Adair, Commander British Forces Gibraltar told the Chronicle that he hoped that talks could begin ‘within weeks’ on the ‘in-house’ option in relation to MoD cuts. He said that MoD has confirmed it is prepared to “work on this and delegate things down to a local level.”

The union had been seeking clarification from Dr Reid as to what precisely the ‘in-house’ bid would entail and details of the suggestion.

At Gibraltar Day in London, in the presence of Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram, Peter Caruana, Chief Minister, declared jobs should be preserved for the loyal residents of Gibraltar who welcomed and supported the presence of the base. He said that this should not be done through contractorisation which would allow jobs to drift for the benefit of cross-frontier workers who “oppose the presence of the base, do not want it here and complain every time a nuclear submarine comes to visit.”

Related Article:

19 October 2005 - Caruana calls on MoD to honour Rock’s loyalty


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