General Workers’ Union asks social partners to discuss proposal for obligatory union membership

The request comes after the Prime Minister told parliament last week that he felt it was time for the country to discuss the proposal

If agreed upon, the proposal would see all workers in Malta obliged to join a union of their choosing
If agreed upon, the proposal would see all workers in Malta obliged to join a union of their choosing

The General Workers’ Union (GWU) has requested that the Malta Council for Social and Economic Development (MCESD) discuss a proposal to make union membership obligatory for all workers in Malta.

Speaking in parliament last week during his reply to the Opposition’s replica to the budget speech, Muscat said he felt it was time for the country to discuss the possibility of obliging all workers to be unionised, as well as that of having all businesses be required to join a chamber of commerce.

“The General Workers’ Union has formally asked the MCESD to place its proposal for obligatory union membership for all workers to be placed on the agenda,” the union said in a statement.

GWU secretary general Josef Bugeja stressed that this was the opportune moment for such a proposal to be discussed, adding that when it was announced during the union’s extraordinary national congress, it had received a positive reaction from both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. 

Moreover, Bugeja said the proposal had generated significant interest on the part of social partners, especially on social media.

“Our proposal is a simple one, to work so that every worker is a member of a trade union of their choice, in order to ensure that no worker can be exploited or discriminated against,” Bugeja said. “I believe the proposal shouldn’t have any negative impacts on the country’s competitiveness, especially considering that the biggest companies in our countries have expanded their operations in coordination and cooperation with the GWU that collectively represents their employee.”

Bugeja insisted that membership in a trade union would be another step towards the eradication of precarious work, abuses and the exploitation of workers.

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