GWU profiting from vulnerable people - PN
Jobs Plus scheme 'should be totally overhauled', says Carm Mifsud Bonnici
Updated at 4.15pm with PL statement
The GWU is "scandalously" profiting from vulnerable workers with the blessing of the Labour government, PN workers' rights spokesman Carm Mifsud Bonnici told a press conference today.
While saying that there was nothing wrong with schemes that sought to improve the lives of vulnerable people, Dr Mifsud Bonnici said that it was obscene that this scheme was administered by a trade union whose interest it was to defend workers' rights.
The PN spokesman said that the Jobs Plus scheme institutionalised precarious work while guaranteeing profits for the GWU.
"The scheme should be totally overhauled and the GWU should not have anything to do with it," he said.
The GWU was selected by the government to manage a scheme on behalf of its employment agency (Jobs Plus) through which 600 long-term unemployed were struck off the jobless register and employed in government jobs.
PN spokesman Stephen Spiteri said that through this scheme, workers paid the minimum wage would be doing the same work as colleagues who were being paid much better.
"These are the precarious situations that the GWU should be fighting against," he said.
Dr Spiteri said that vulnerable people on a minimum wage could not make ends meet and that the government should not be promoting such situations.
PN electoral candidate Salvu Mallia said that the scheme was only intended to earn the GWU a profit.
A scandal with such conflicts of interests betrayed the core base of the Labour working class, he said.
A case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing - PL
In a reply, the Labour Party said it seemed that the PN was not pleased with shadow minister Claudette Buttigieg's request for the Health Parliamentary Committee to discuss the Vitals Global Helathcare contracts, which request was immediately accepted by committee chairman Etienne Grech.
For other PN MPs, it said, wanted the Public Accounts Committee to discuss the contracts. It was clear that this was a case where the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing.
The PN had so gotten used to criticising everything - that it did not realise it was criticising its own MPs.