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09 April 2021
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Interview with Charlotte Zahra of Business Today
Do you agree with the Prime Minister's suggestion of a new social pact or not?
The social pact concept is taken from the experience of countries with traditional tri-partite national bargaining experience. Malta does not have this experience and trade unions and employers have been found wonting when it comes to committing themselves over a span of years on important issues. Another exercise will be as futile as the last one. What MCESD is doing now is following an alternative route which is less cumbersome.
What alternative means of tri-partite discussions should be used instead?
What is currently going on makes a lot of sense as it gives the social partners the necessary experience and feedback.
What lessons have been learnt from the last unsuccessful social pact?
1. That we do not have what it takes to reach a successful social pact conclusion.
2. That some individual members of MCESD are perhaps still too politically committed to accept a contractual obligation irrespective of which Party is in Government
What effective measures should be taken this time around to prevent another failure?
We should not waste our time on too ambitious targets
Do you agree with those who say that the Government and the Opposition should be included in the social pact discussions to serve as guarantors of the agreement or not? Why?
Politicians have nothing to do with a social pact. A social pact or a diluted form of it is an agreement amongst social partners. Political parties have Parliament and other fora where they dominate. Indeed I would say "A la larga"
Has the Government effectively made any specific proposals to the social partners following this announcement to push forward the social pact?
Should the MCESD be used as the place where the discussions for the social pact, especially in view of the fact that the Forum Trade Unions' grouping is not represented?
MCESD is at law the Forum for all national tri-partite negotiations. No one should invent anything else. We already have too many institutions in Malta. We should at all cost avoid inventing others simply to suite individuals who prefer to go in alone or go it their way
Do you agree with the inclusion of the FORUM trade unions in the MCESD or not? Why?
MCESD is the Forum of Government, employers and trade unions. Employers associations and trade unions are equally represented. If the trade union partners are now 4 and not 3 it is up to the trade union side to make way and offer a seat to the new family member and recognise him as family. The issue would really be something that needs to be settled within the trade union ranks
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