GWU launches scathing attack on Archbishop after his ‘malicious’ comments on jobless scheme
The General Workers Union has joined government officials in launching a scathing attack on Archbishop Charles Scicluna a day after he said it was shameful that a workers’ union was making money from a jobless scheme.
The scheme will see some 600 unemployed persons engaged by a GWU foundation, but their salaries will be paid by the government. The GWU will make a profit from the scheme although there seems to be disagreement on the actual amounts.
Archbishop Scicluna on Sunday tweeted: “Shameful that a Workers’ Union earn €300/month on each worker. Justice?”
Yesterday, following a meeting with Employment Minister Evarist Bartolo he tweeted: “Good meeting with Hon Minister E. Bartolo & JobsPlus CEO C. Caruana. New CWS gives workers more rights. GWU surplus should go to workers.”
In a statement yesterday afternoon, the GWU condemned the Archbishop’s “malicious attitude” for speaking on the scheme “both before and after he had verified” the facts.
“The Archbishop decided to enter into the political arena with the aim of obscuring and attacking the GWU. It is shameful how the Archbishop has chosen to ride on the PN’s political bandwagon and join the party in its attack on this union.”
The GWU said the Archbishop had spoken out on the subject despite the fact that the Church makes use of 19 employees that are part of the same scheme, without paying for them.
It said the Church had been making use of these community service schemes for years.
Echoing the words of the Government’s Head of Communications Kurt Farrugia, the GWU asked why the Archbishop had never asked for justice during previous legislatures when Church entities made use of workers who were paid 75% of the minimum wage without enjoying any rights and under precarious work schemes.
“The GWU makes it clear that workers in this scheme enjoy dignified salaries and conditions as agreed with the government.”
OPM-employed blogger Glenn Bedingfield on Sunday also launched an attack on the Archbishop after the latter’s comments on the scheme.