Updated | PN calls on prime minister to take action over Justyne Caruana ‘threats’

Parliamentary secretary for the elderly Justyne Caruana denies 'unfounded' allegations she threatened to report day care centre workers to police if they followed a union's directives.

The Nationalist Party has called on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to take action over “threats” allegedly made by parliamentary secretary Justyne Caruana to workers who had followed a union’s directives.

In an interview with PN news portal maltarightnow.com, one of the workers alleged that Caruana threatened to report day centre managers to the police commissioner if they obeyed a legal directive issued by the Union Haddiema Maqghudin (UHM).

Caruana is also alleged to have threatened the workers that they will pay dearly, and that they amount to nothing. Earlier this week, the UHM claimed that Caruana threatened to report day care centre workers if they failed to move from the day centres.

The Nationalist Party has since called on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to immediately take action against Justyne Caruana.

“The prime minister now has a clear test, if Muscat truly believes in political responsibility, he should take action immediately,” the PN said.

In a reaction, Caruana distanced herself from the “unfounded” allegations of the Nationalist Party, and accused the Opposition of trying to score political mileage.

The junior minister explained that during the meeting in question, she reassured day care centre workers that their job was safe and they will not be transferred.

“Nevertheless, the parliamentary secretary could not stay idle and quiet in the face of reports that some workers forced the elderly to sign a petition without having any knowledge of what they were signing. It was this reason why the workers were requested to rectify this abuse.”

Caruana also took exception at the PN’s criticism, accusing it of double-standards after the PN had agreed with legislation to halt the abuse of the elderly.

“Even though the opposition agreed with this law, at present however, the PN is not supporting the government in an attempt to score some political points,” Caruana added.