PN lambasts ‘cosmetic’ industrial tribunal reform proposals

Nationalist MEP Therese Comodini Cachia tells social partners that government's proposals to reform the Industrial Tribunal will not safeguard rights of workers and unions

Nationalist MEP Therese Comodini Cachia addresses a meeting of social partners
Nationalist MEP Therese Comodini Cachia addresses a meeting of social partners

The Nationalist Party has criticised the government for proposing a “cosmetic and weak” reform of the Industrial Tribunal.

“The government’s proposals don’t safeguard workers or unions,” shadow employment minister and PN MEP Therese Comodini Cachia told social partners at the Opposition’s parliamentary Chambers. “For example, they propose that the tribunal members must be independent but that the tribunal’s decisions mustn’t conflict with government policy.”

She added that the PN are drafting its own amendments to the Tribunal.

“We recognize the need to reform the Tribunal, following the Constitutional Court’s ruling, but any reform must be substantive so as to banish all possible doubt about its independence and impartiality.”

The Constitutional Court earlier this month upheld a ruling passed in June last year by Justice Anna Felice, in favour of a claim by the General Workers Union (GWU) that the composition of the Industrial Tribunal breaches the right to a fair hearing and does not respect the Constitution and the European Convention for Human Rights.

The Attorney General had appealed her judgment arguing the union should have sought redress in other fora and not the Constitutional Hall, that there was a misinterpretation of law and the context in which the union had filed its claim.

Following the ruling, the government immediately announced that it had asked the AG to draft legal amendments to strengthen the legal guarantees ensuring the independence and impartiality of the tribunal.

Earlier today, the Union Haddiema Maghqudin and Confederation of Malta Trade Unions (CMTU) criticised the government’s proposals as being “too weak”.

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