MEA director general Joe Farrugia
The Malta Employers' Association has voiced its disagreement to a General Workers Union proposal that suggests government contracts are awarded only companies covered by a collective agreement.
"Employees should have a free choice whether to join a union or not, and one cannot generalise that non-unionised companies have inferior conditions of employment when compared to unionised ones," MEA director general Joe Farrugia said.
Farrugia said that MEA agreed that employment condition should be safeguarded and that government contracts shouldn't be awarded to companies that offer substandard or illegal conditions of employment.
"[We] have has voiced our concern on this issue many times. The MEA appeals for a level playing field between employers, as there are recurring occasions in public procurement where companies who offer decent working conditions lose out to others who may be resorting to illegal working practices," Farrugia said.
He added that a level playing field among all companies should be given, including between those who are unionised and those who are not: "This, as long as labour laws are respected."
Farrugia added that MEA has recommended the setting up of a services charter to cover the security, cleaning and care working sectors as to ensure that any companies who are committed to comply with minimum conditions will be given preference if they are signatories of the Charter.
"But even though the Prime Minister and two ministers have publicly proclaimed their support for this initiative, the Association is still awaiting a feedback from the government so that the Charter can be finalised and implemented," Farrugia said.
MEA now hoped that action will be taken in the coming weeks in the interest of employees and law abiding companies.