Unions emphasise importance of quality jobs, social justice
GWU and Forum this morning jointly presented a letter to the Prime Minister calling for support and emphasising the importance of quality jobs, fighting precarious employment and social justice.
The Confederation of Malta Trade Unions presented the government its own letter.
GWU and Forum told a news conference that as members of the European Trade Union Confederation, GWU and Forum joined another 83 other confederations in a European Day of Action on the eve of an important European summit during which heads of government will decide on measures that will affect millions of workers.
Other confederations in Italy, Spain and Cyprus organised demonstrations, rallies and strikes.
Forum president John Bencini said CMTU, which was also affiliated to the ETUC decided to opt out of the event.
He said the economic and social crisis was affecting millions of European workers and the austerity measures were making the situation worse.
Unemployment had reached record levels in Europe with 23 million people, including five million youths, unemployed. In Europe, 115 million people, nearly a quarter of the population, were at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
The Maltese government was asked to reduce its budget by €40 million, including a €1.4 million cut in the social sector.
"We are not here to attack the government but to criticise all European governments and make them realise that the austerity measures are not working and that employees should not be blamed for bad governance," Mr Bencini said.
GWU general secretary Tony Zarb noted that the Constitutional changes Parliament will be debating following the decision by European leaders in January should have been first been discussed at MCESD level.
Minister Chris Said, who took the organisations' letter, said that the Maltese government expressed solidarity with European workers who were losing their jobs.
Fortunately Malta had continued to generate employment and attract investment but this did not mean there were no problems.
Economic growth in Malta was 2.4 per cent against the EU average of 1.8 per cent and a total of 6,000 new jobs had been created in 12 months.
The Confederation of Malta Trade Unions – CMTU, an affiliate of the European Trade Union Confederation – ETUC this morning handed over a letter to the Prime Minister Hon Dr Lawrence Gonzi, following a meeting with the Hon Dr Chris Said, Minister for Justice, Public Consultation and Family, in solidarity with those workers in various EU Member States who are shouldering the burden of the austerity measures being implemented by their respective governments.
In its letter, the CMTU said it joined the GWU and the Forum to emphasise the importance of quality jobs, the fight against precarious owrk and the need for social justice.