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Malta: Living Wage Should be Government Priority in 2011, Says GWU President
Malta Today

January 1, 2011
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GWU president calls for Living Wage discussion and appeals for trade union council.

2010 had seen a decline in people’s purchasing power due to higher energy costs, General Workers Union president Victor Carachi said in his New Year’s address today.

Carachi said it was a difficult year even while the economy displayed signs of recovery. "But the government was not sufficiently aware of the correlation between families’ economic problems and social problems."

“We need concrete measures that protect those who have fallen beneath the poverty line… if consensus exists for a university stipend, then so should families have a decent life. Government’s main aim this year should be to discuss the interesting Living Wage proposal and see to its implementation in the shortest time possible,” Carachi said.

Carachi said the union’s priorities this year will be safeguarding decent work conditions and tackling precarity. “Government itself must commit itself not to perpetuate precarious working conditions through its tender.”

Carachi said the union would participate in discussions on a national salvage plan for Air Malta, support workers’ rights and freedom to unionise in the disciplined corps, and work towards the creation of a national council of trade unions. “It’s high time we establish a trade union council that allows all unions to speak with one voice on national issues.”