A National Trade Union Forum was launched this morning by President Marie- Louise Coleiro Preca.

She described the launch as “a historical moment” that would enhance unity in the country.

A total of 22 unions, the Office of the President and the Centre for Labour Studies signed the terms of reference.

The forum will launch an informative campaign, hold seminars and carry out scientific research to gauge public opinion on trade unions.

She said that nearly half the Maltese workforce belonged to a trade union, giving the country one of the highest percentages in union membership.

At the forum, the trade unions will share experiences and seek collaboration through dialogue.

Manuel Debono, director at the Centre for Labour Studies, said that just as workers were made stronger through trade unions, the forum would in turn make those unions stronger.

The members of the forum are:

1. Airline Pilots Association Malta
2. Association of Airline Engineers (Malta)
3. Care Workers Union
4. General Workers Union
5. Għaqda Professjonali tal-Korporazzjoni tas-Servizzi tal-Ilma
6. Kamra tal-Ispizjara
7. Lotto Receivers Union
8. Malta Air Traffic Controllers Association
9. Malta Dockers Union
10. Malta Union of Bank Employees
11. Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses
12. Malta Union of Professional Psychologists
13. Malta Union of Teachers
14. Malta Union of Tourist Guides
15. Malta Psyhchological Association
16. Medical Association of Malta
17. Union of Cabin Crew
18. Union Ħaddiema Bank Ċentrali
19. Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin
20. Union Periti u Inginiera tas-Servizz Pubbliku
21. Union tal-Professjonisti fl-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar
22. University of Malta Academic Staff Association

In a statement this afternoon, the Confederation of Malta Trade Unions said that while it supported the initiative, it was imperative that a code of ethics was drawn up with enforcement measures clearly outlined to ensure unions continued to work in  a harmonious environment characterised by mutual respect and ethical trade union behaviour.