Manda­tory union mem­ber­ship: PM does not ex­clude white or green pa­per on union pro­pos­als

Malta Independent - - News - ■ Kevin Schem­bri Orland

Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat yes­ter­day said that govern­ment does not ex­clude is­su­ing a white or green pa­per to launch a for­mal dis­cus­sion on pro­pos­als re­lat­ing to manda­tory union mem­ber­ship.

The Malta In­de­pen­dent asked the Prime Min­is­ter about his call for a de­bate on the idea of mak­ing it manda­tory for work­ers to join a union of their choice, high­light­ing that such a move would go against fun­da­men­tal hu­man rights and against in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions which were rat­i­fied by Malta.

Mus­cat said that govern­ment needs to en­sure that any­thing done does not go against Free­dom of As­so­ci­a­tion, adding that he said this be­fore.

He said that govern­ment al­ready has an anal­y­sis with re­gard to how a scheme like this can be chal­lenged or not, as well as ideas such as a per­son hav­ing the abil­ity to choose not to join a union but there would be con­tri­bu­tions to a na­tional fund that pro­motes work­ers rights.

“What I asked for was the be­gin­ning of a na­tional dis­cus­sion, which has started.”

He said govern­ment does not ex­clude is­su­ing a for­mal dis­cus­sion in the form of a white pa­per or green pa­per in the com­ing months, but would be two-fold. He said that not only re­gard­ing this sit­u­a­tion, but also where em­ploy­ers would be made to regis­ter with a Cham­ber of Com­merce. This ex­ists coun­tries, he said.

The Prime Min­is­ter said, with re­gards to the manda­tory union in EU mem­ber­ship dis­cus­sion, that govern­ment knows of ju­rispru­dence from the EU Court. He said the sys­tem does ex­ist in coun­tries out­side of the EU like Aus­tralia.

He also made ref­er­ence to a news ar­ti­cle which ap­peared on The Times of Malta yes­ter­day. The Times of Malta re­ported that: “Plans to build a new state-ofthe-art Gozo Gen­eral Hospi­tal have been put on hold de­spite con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions it had to be up and run­ning by last May.”

The Prime Min­is­ter how­ever, had this to say on the is­sue: As Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Chris Fearne can con­firm, this is com­pletely not true. He said he vis­ited Stew­ards in Bos­ton a few weeks ago and that there is com­plete com­mit­ment on their part at the high­est lev­els. “The amount of funds they are in­vest­ing in Malta is con­sid­er­able. There was com­plete com­mit­ment this morn­ing, they con­firmed. There is noth­ing true in the spec­u­la­tive re­port.”

Fearne said that the in­vest­ment by Stew­ards is show­ing. He said that the €2.2 mil­lion was in­vested in the anatomy school, and a €22 mil­lion in­vest­ment in Barts Med­i­cal School which has now reached the third floor.

Photo: Alenka Fal­zon

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