Trade unions have called on government to compensate families with an energy allowance that is not less than last year’s payment to make good for the price hikes in fuel and gas.

During a press conference held this morning, the Għaqda Unions Maltin – made up of Forum, the 11-union block, and the General Workers’ Union – called on government to be sensitive to the plight of the people when the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development meets tomorrow.

In a common position the unions, which claim to represent 63 per cent of unionised workers, also called for the cost of living adjustment (COLA) mechanism to be calculated on the average wage rather than the social wage, which is lower. This would mean a higher increase in wages.

The unions also called for the weightings of the retail price index to be changed to reflect modern-day realities. According to the umbrella group utility bills, gas and fuels only had a weighting of slightly more than three per cent in the index which is used to calculate the COLA.

The unions said they will wait for the outcome of tomorrow’s meeting before deciding what course of action to take.

“Government should use tomorrow’s meeting as an opportunity to reach an agreement with the social partners. The outcome of the meeting means a lot to us and the workers we represent,” GħUM president John Bencini said.

GWU general secretary Tony Zarb said that in tomorrow’s MCESD meeting his union will be putting forward the proposals unanimously agreed by GħUM members.

In a heartfelt appeal, Mr Bencini reiterated an invitation to other unions to join the organisation so as to put forward their concerns in one strong voice.

“If we do so, government will listen more to our appeal,” he said.


Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us