GWU launches scathing at­tack on Arch­bishop af­ter his ‘ma­li­cious’ com­ments on job­less scheme

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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