Fabian Demicoli

GRTU meets top Labour Party representatives

The GRTU executive Council has today met two Labour Party representatives, Perit Karmenu Vella and Dr Chris Cardona. The GRTU in its introduction explained the vast action the GRTU is taking and how effective it has become at national, EU and international level.

 

GRTU spoke about the increased recognition GRTU is acquiring at the European Economic and Social Committee and how we are bridging the work done at EU level and the EESC with our local work, especially on the economical aspects and on the issue of budgetary surveillance. GRTU explained the steady working relationship we have with Government officials especially when working at EU level as we regularly consult Government . On the other hand however consultation with us from Government prior to the publishing of a Legal Notice is still scars and lacks a structural sequence.

The Labour Party said that first of all they are very pleased to meet the GRTU and that this reminds them of the frequent meetings they used to have with the constituted bodies when they were in Government, which used to be very fruitful and they look forward to restart this close cooperation as even though communication have never stopped they would like to meet more frequently. The representatives also said that they recognise the increased importance the GRTU has gained, which Government has only to gain from. He said that Government has his mind more at rest if his social partners are strong. GRTU but has not yet gained importance at EU level and GRTU's work is now benefiting Government at EU and international level. When speaking about investments he said that he does not see Government as imposing but as supporting investors. Government needs to better hand-hold businesses in their investments and not impose on them what they do with their money.

The GRTU and the Labour Party representatives spoke at length of the current economic situation and the budgetary constraints currently happening in other countries and how these effect our country and the way the EU takes its decisions and operates. The EU now requires earlier budgetary planning and under the most recent strategies, policies were incorporated to ensure an early warning system and budgetary surveillance. They emphasised the need for more value added growth in the economy and to better incorporate small businesses.

Both the Labour Party and the GRTU agreed that Government was not involving us, as GRTU and the Labour Party, enough in conferences and seminars abroad. The GRTU for instance said that during the time of Edwin Vassallo the GRTU was invited to participate on important conferences concerning SMEs. This today is no longer the case even if we asked directly to participate.

Various topics were brought up and discussed by the GRTU Council amongst which was the pension system, the subsidies for the agriculture sector, the funding mechanism for renewable energy, the environmental and waste obligation, Gozo and future prospects, the current big projects in Malta, the Malta Enterprise and tourism.

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