A newly formed political party has set up two trade unions to represent employees and business owners in their fight against COVID-19 restrictions.

ABBA, a Christian party, said the two unions would defend the rights of their members against the restrictions imposed by the health authorities.

Party leader Ivan Grech Mintoff said these restrictions were “the topmost and immediate threat to jobs and businesses”.

New COVID-19 restrictions are due to enter into force on Monday. Entrance to several categories of public venue, such as bars, restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, cinemas, theatres and sporting events, will be limited to people with a valid vaccine certificate.

“These restrictions are unlikely to have much, or indeed any, real effect on the pandemic,” Grech Mintoff claimed.

“The science is clear: the vaccine does provide a substantial measure of protection against hospitalisation for the person that takes it but only marginally reduces their propensity to carry and spread the virus.”

He said the choice of whether to get vaccinated or not must be up to the individual, based on their doctor’s advice and not on pressure from the government.

It was clear the restrictions would substantially damage many firms’ ability to do business and would likely result in a substantial number of bankruptcies and job losses, he said.

“The measure might have been justified if it saved lives but, given that there is no real scientific evidence that it will, the only purpose of these ineffective restrictions is to demonstrate that the government is taking action.

“These facts, together with the ineffectiveness of the current unions, has led groups of employers and employees to come together to form two new unions: ABBA Workers Union and ABBA Retailers and Traders Union,” he said when contacted.

Grech Mintoff said many regular businessmen and numerous employees were fearful for the survival of their firms and their employment and they had contacted the party seeking to do something about the new restrictions.

“Despite the name, these organisations will be independent of ABBA party and will work hand in hand to safeguard the rights of their members and work for a stronger economy.

“As all unions, they will get their strength from numbers. Together, we can succeed where we cannot as individuals,” he said. 

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