General Workers Union demands worker compensation for fuel price increase

Such a large increase nullified any gains made by workers from newly-negotiated collective agreements, the union said

The GWU has called on the government to compensate workers for the increase in the price of fuel and other essential items
The GWU has called on the government to compensate workers for the increase in the price of fuel and other essential items

The General Workers Union has demanded that the government compensate ‘workers, pensioners and all those who are vulnerable’ in light of an increase in fuel prices which came into force today.

From today, the price of fuel supplied by the state-owned company Enemed has gone up.

The price of unleaded petrol has gone up by 5c per litre, from €1.36 to €1.41. The price of diesel has also gone up, from €1.23 to €1.28.

Despite the government insisting that fuel prices in Malta were still lower than the European average, the GWU is said that the increase, when considered together with the increase in price of “other essential products”, would negatively affect workers.

“The union is asking the government to immediately compensate workers, pensioners and the vulnerable, given that this increase will also be reflect in the price of other goods and services on the market,” read a statement by the union.

GWU secretary general Josef Bugeja said that while the union appreciated the fact that the government was negotiating long-term fuel purchasing agreements in order to stabilise prices, any increase in price could be “great enough to disrupt people’s quality of life or companies’ financial projections”.

“For this reason, we believe that in this situation, everyone should receive a one-time compensation,” Bugeja said. “With increases like these, the value of improved collective agreements negotiated by workers is lost.”

Moreover, the GWU said it would continue to insist that the annual cost of living adjustment be given out twice a year, in order to compensate for the occasional increase in cost of essential items.  

READ MORE: Petrol and diesel prices up by 5c as of Thursday

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