Fabian Demicoli

GRTU discusses its priorities with the Opposition


GRTU's National Executive Council has this week met the
Opposition with most of the Nationalist MPs. GRTU President Paul Abela stated
that in line with the interest of GRTU members we do our best to maintain good
relations with not only the Government of the day but also the Opposition.

Mr
Abela said that GRTU wants to maintain regular contact with the Opposition to
help us in reaching our goals for our members. He also took the opportunity to
wish Dr Beppe Fenech Adami a speedy recovery.

GRTU is not satisfied with the amount of information
and support businesses operating in Libya are receiving. He recalled that when
there was the outbreak of the crises the Government of that time had brought
social partners together for briefings and sought to support businesses in
Libya. The messages businesses were getting after the crises was to try to hold
talks and establish business as many other countries had already gained ground.
GRTU therefore called on MCESD to convene with urgency to be briefed and discuss
the subject.

President Abela also mentioned GRTU's opposition to the
decision taken to waive CVA obligations for teachers working in Valletta. Mr
Abela asked ‘why are these employees being treated differently? Why are the
employees of our members, Government employees and employees of other larger
institutions such as the banks being discriminated?' He said that GRTU had
already expressed its clear disagreement with this through our member on the
CVA board.

The Leader of the Opposition Dr Simon Busuttil said that the
Opposition always welcomes opportunities to meet an important partner as the
GRTU. This constituted the second meeting with one of the main stakeholders
which was started two weeks ago with the UHM. He continued saying that the
Opposition intends to meet with all the important stakeholders and social
partners at MCESD.

Dr Busuttil stated that this was important because
politicians do not possess all the knowledge and they should merely represent
the aspirations of society and business is part of this. Dr Busuttil also
expressed the Opposition's concern with Libya and they themselves had asked for
a Parliamentary sitting on the subject as they were not pleased with the level
of transparency of the situation. He also said that the Opposition backed
GRTU's position against the Smart Card Development and the free entrance to
Valletta to teachers. Dr Busuttil said that these were clearly populist
decisions aimed at pleasing a particular group and not for the benefit of
society as a whole.

The Opposition was pleased that the economy is still doing
well however it was preoccupied with the high level of Government spending and
with the dwindling sales in retail which is also evident from Eurostat
Statistics.

Following this initial exchange the GRTU officials discussed
the issues and priorities it currently has in more detail.

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