Port workers demand payment

Eighty-three port workers are demanding payment due to them for services rendered and to see a detailed account of such funds.

The request was made in an application filed against the Malta Maritime Authority, the Malta Dockers' Union, A1+Services Limited, which was setup by the MDU to administer finances due to part-time workers, and the former secretary of the services section of the General Workers' Union, Karmenu Vella.

The licensed workers, who are not salaried employees, have an agreement whereby they receive funds from the operators of the ports through the Malta Maritime Authority.

They say the MMA is entrusted with the task of collecting fees and tariffs due to them in connection with their work as licensed port workers. The MMA is also entrusted with the administration of such funds by distributing them to the workers.

However, they argue, from September 2006, part of the funds were paid to the MDU, A1+ Services Ltd and to Karmenu Vella rather than to the port workers. As a result, they did not receive the full amount due to them. They insist they never authorised the MDU, A1+Services Ltd or Mr Vella to hold the funds or to administer them.

The port workers say they asked the MMA to provide them with an explanation about what happened and to submit a copy of the accounts but the MMA failed to do so.

They demanded a detailed account of the funds due to them and asked the First Hall of the Civil Court to order the MMA, MDU, A1 Services and Mr Vella to pay them all the funds due.

Lawyer Aron Mifsud Bonnici and Joanne Vella Cuschieri acted on behalf of the workers.

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