Josef Vella, CEO of U}M Voice of the Work­ers

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The top­most pri­or­ity, Mr Vella says, is the in­tro­duc­tion of com­pen­sa­tion, which would be added to the an­nual gov­ern­ment bonus, for ‘missed’ pub­lic hol­i­days. This pro­posal would have a pos­i­tive im­pact be­cause it adds to work­ers’ in­come which will re­sult in in­creased spend­ing, while not hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact on pro­duc­tiv­ity.

He also men­tions the in­tro­duc­tion of a liv­ing wage that would serve to guide col­lec­tive agree­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions as well so­cial pol­icy de­ci­sions. “A liv­ing wage would pro­vide an in­come that is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of fam­i­lies’ ex­penses. The UĦM also wants co­op­er­a­tives as a model of do­ing busi­ness, a harsher fight against pre­car­i­ous work and sec­ond-pil­lar pen­sions.”

On the eco­nomic sce­nario ques­tion, Mr Vella says the UĦM is also call­ing for an up­dated house­hold bud­getary sur­vey, ar­gu­ing that while eco­nomic growth stands at 3.5%, in­fla­tion re­mained rel­a­tively low. “The in­fla­tion rate is based on the last such sur­vey which oc­curred in 2008. UĦM urges the gov­ern­ment to con­clude the 2015 House­hold Bud­getary Sur­vey. This af­fects union ne­go­ti­a­tions when the COLA is in­cluded in wage con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions.”

Mr Vella named a pro­posal by the CMTU on good gover­nance in pub­lic pro­cure­ment. “There needs to be more trans­parency in the process and the own­ers, ie, the cit­i­zens of Malta, must be aware of all cur­rent con­tracts. All con­tracts should be de­posited in par­lia­ment for pub­lic scru­tiny with­out ex­cep­tion. In line with Euro­pean Com­mis­sion guid­ance, shell com­pa­nies, use of fidu­cia­ries where the true iden­tity of the in­vestors is hid­den should be pro­hib­ited from bid­ding for pub­lic con­tracts.”

On the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion, the UĦM CEO said the num­ber of cars on the road has re­mained the same, re­gard­less of the in­crease in pub­lic trans­port pas­sen­gers. “UĦM urges gov­ern­ment to keep work­ing on the is­sue to help re­duce the num­ber of cars on the road.”

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