Environmental health officers have been ordered by their union not to investigate food complaints or certify catering establishments for tourism licenses.

They have also been ordered by UĦM – Voice of the Workers not to process any import entries or export documentation, answer the phone or e-mails.

The on-call duty mobile phone has to be answered, however, they have been ordered to execute only work related to emergencies such as suspected food poisoning cases.

They will also not issue the weekly bathing water report. 

The industrial action is being ordered nine months after the signing of a sectoral agreement for environmental health officers within the environmental health directorate. 

The union said a small group of officers are still being denied from progressing to the respective grades according to this agreement.

As a result, officers in all grades have agreed to take industrial action in solidarity with their colleagues.

The dispute was registered on August 3.

"UĦM hopes common sense prevails and the government confirms it will honour the agreement and these employees are given the progression to their respective grades," it said in a statement.

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