Coronavirus: GWU wants more direct government help to sustain wages in private sector

It has welcomed the government’s economic rescue package but the General Workers’ Union believes it is still not enough to stop companies from shedding employees and asks for more direct help to businesses

The GWU says that the economic package unveiled by government is still not strong enough to prevent job losses and asks for more direct aid to businesses
The GWU says that the economic package unveiled by government is still not strong enough to prevent job losses and asks for more direct aid to businesses

General Workers’ Union has called for additional economic measures to alleviate the immediate burden companies face as a result of the coronavirus.

The union said any measure should be conditional on companies retaining employees.

“In its discussions with employers, the union is informed that the measures announced by government so far will still lead to job losses,” the union said.

The economic rescue package announced on Wednesday evening by Prime Minister Robert Abela has been criticised by all employer organisations, individual businesspersons and the Opposition as falling short of what the country needs.

The GWU has now lent its voice to this growing chorus calling for stronger, more meaningful measures.

However, the union also called for measures that are sustainable, given that this was a problem no one knew how long it will last.

The union welcomed the various measures intended to soften the blow for workers who have to stop working as a result of the coronavirus restrictions, those who end up unemployed and those who live in rented accommodation.

However, it added, that this was not enough to prevent job losses.

The GWU asked for more direct help to companies in the payment of wages and credits in tax payments.

“Credits should vary according to the impact felt by the particular industry… a reduction in government induced costs for manufacturing and tourism, including cuts in water and electricity bills… a moratorium on loan repayments, especially that by households should be mandatory and last for more than three months,” the union proposed, adding the ultimate aim is that of protecting jobs.

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