Alternattiva Demokratika reiterated its call for a green economy based on sustainable development and social justice during a meeting with the General Workers’ Union this afternoon after being presented with the Union’s electoral proposals.
AD spokesperson for Social Policy and Civil Rights Angele Deguara said that workers’ rights are a main priority for AD particularly during times of economic crises and increased work precariousness.
“While unemployment may not be considered a very serious problem in Malta, there are many workers who despite having a job, do not have decent working conditions and include various categories of workers,” Deguara said.
Deguara said that even those workers forming part of the civil services should be permitted to join unions although they should not have the right to participate in strikes.
Other groups such as older workers, persons with disability, ex-prisoners and women with children are still finding it difficult to access the labour market.
“We need better structures to enable more workers to participate fully in the labour market while also managing their personal life and coping with caring responsibilities. Policies should aim at making it easier for both women and men to combine both activities so that everyone will be able to contribute in both the private and public sphere,” Deguara said.
Deguara also called for more effort in fighting discrimination against certain workers due to factors such as disability, sexual orientation, race or religious beliefs.
AD chairperson and spokesperson for Economic Policy and Culture Michael Briguglio said that AD was calling for an increase in the minimum wage and for a ‘realistic’ assessment of the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for it to be truly reflective of economic inflation.
“This will not only improve the quality of life of low income earners who are worst hit by the global economic recession, but it may also increase productivity. AD would also like to see a just and fair pension reform which would ensure not only sustainability but also a decent quality of life to all pensioners,” Briguglio said.
Briguglio also called on Malta to move towards a greener economy. “Through parliamentary representation, AD will give priority to the Green New Deal, creating green jobs in areas such as services, sustainable tourism, waste management, public transport, and alternative energy."
Briguglio said that instead of pandering to neo-liberal economics and big business, AD gives priority to “a green economy based on social justice and sustainable development".
During the meeting AD presented copies of a publication of the Green European Foundation and AD affiliated Fondazzjoni Ceratonia on the potential for green jobs in Malta.