Three new workers’ organisations affiliated with the General Workers’ Union will seek official recognition in the police force, army and correctional service, general secretary Tony Zarb said yesterday.
Though no accurate figures were divulged, Mr Zarb said the Police Officers Union, the Armed Forces Union and the Correctional Officers Union already have more than 800 members between them.
He was addressing a news conference at the GWU’s headquarters in Valletta, where representatives from the three new unions signed the affiliation agreement.
The move follows legal amendments approved by Parliament last month which gave members of disciplined forces the right to join a trade union. Though they can seek redress from the industrial tribunal, they are forbidden from resorting to any form of industrial action, such as a workers’ strike.
Mr Zarb said this was a historic day for the GWU, noting that in a matter of weeks they had received hundreds of membership applications.
He added that the next step would be for these unions to seek membership in European and international organisations.
As affiliated members, each new union will be represented in the GWU general conference and have access to free legal advice.