Workers' conditions at heart of government’s economic vision, Robert Abela says

Prime Minister Robert Abela says unemployment levels now close to pre-pandemic figures

Prime Minister Robert Abela (James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Prime Minister Robert Abela (James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

In order for the government to fulfil its economic vision, it must ensure workers’ rights are properly safeguarded, Robert Abela said. 

The Prime Minister was speaking at a special Cabinet meeting held at the General Workers’ Union headquarters in Valletta on Monday morning.

“In order to implement our vision, we need workers who are carrying out their job in the appropriate conditions,” Abela said. 

The PM said that in light of the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the government has prioritised the interests of workers in Malta and Gozo. He said the government has forked out more than €366 million in wage supplements and quarantine leave. 

Abela also said that the latest statistics show unemployment is on the decline, and the country is closer than ever before to pre-pandemic figures. 

“Last year we signed 16 collective agreement within the public sector. This highlights our ambitions is prioritising the worker,” he said.  

He said the government will continue to listen to social partners in order to roll out more initiatives for the workforce. 

“The more people work, and the better their conditions, the lower the country’s dependency on social benefits,” he said. 

Speaking on the pre-1995 rent reform announced on Saturday, Abela said that while the government is still working on it, reactions have been positive. 

“Now we will continue to work on it during the parliamentary process,” he said. 

He also mentioned the government intends to release a white paper for the decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use. 

GWU President Victor Carachi said the government’s principles of social justice are in line with the union’s. 

“Without social justice, there can never be social progress,” he said.