Sick leave rights must be pro­tected at all costs

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Movi­ment Graf­fitti strongly con­demns the pro­posal by the Malta Em­ploy­ers As­so­ci­a­tion to in­tro­duce a ‘wait­ing day’ where the first day of sick leave would be un­paid. This pro­posal should be op­posed on prin­ci­ple and in light of the past strug­gles of the work­ers’ move­ments to achieve de­cent work­ing con­di­tions.

We be­lieve that the health and well­be­ing of em­ploy­ees must al­ways be pri­ori­tised over profit. The in­tro­duc­tion of a wait­ing day puts eco­nomic pres­sure on, and will af­fect, all work­ers, es­pe­cially those with health prob­lems.

The ex­cuse that such a mea­sure ex­ists in other coun­tries is un­rea­son­able be­cause it omits the fact that the wages in Malta are sig­nif­i­cantly lower than those in main­land Europe. Such a pro­posal also shows the MEA’s in­dif­fer­ence to­wards the speed­ily ris­ing cost of liv­ing and the chal­lenges faced by many or­di­nary Maltese fam­i­lies to make ends meet.

Movi­ment Graf­fitti is ready to seek al­liances with work­ers’ move­ments if sick leave rights are put un­der threat. These rights must be pro­tected at all costs since, as we have seen from other rights such as leave that falls on week­ends, if these rights are lost, they might be lost for good.

Movi­ment Graf­fitti also be­lieves that the MEA’s con­cerns over le­gal­ized mar­i­juana are unat­tested. Claim­ing the right to con­duct ran­dom drug tests im­plies in­tru­sion into the pri­vate life of em­ploy­ees which is to­tally un­ac­cept­able.

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