AD’s snipe at Cassola: GWU’s union proposal 'shouldn’t be dismissed'

Dismissing the proposal before understanding it properly reflected a lack of understanding of the realities of the workplace, Alternattiva Demokratika said 

Alternattiva Demokratika said that a proposal for mandatory union membership shouldn't be outright dismissed
Alternattiva Demokratika said that a proposal for mandatory union membership shouldn't be outright dismissed

Outright dismissal of a proposal for the introduction of mandatory union membership reflects a lack of understanding of the work world, Alternattiva Demokratika said on Saturday, days after its former leader described the proposal as a "money-making scheme". 

Earlier this week, Equality Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that the government was actively exploring ways in which the proposal could be implemented.

The proposal had originally been put forward by the General Workers’ Union, as a means of addressing precarious work, abuse and the exploitation of employees.  

In a statement to the media on Thursday, former AD chairman and independent candidate Arnold Cassola shot down the proposal, which he described as “another money-making scheme” by the union, and one that wasn't in the interest of workers.

Cassola left AD before last May’s European Parliament and local council elections over the party’s position on abortion.

“Outright dismissal of these GWU proposals by some shows a lack of understanding of the world of work and the imbalance of effective power between employers and employees, especially in some sectors of the economy,” AD’s social policy spokesperson Anna Azzopardi said, adding that unions were right to complain about free riders who enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining while still sitting on the fence.  

She said that while AD supported efforts in increasing trade union presence and shop-floor unity, the GWU needed to elaborate on their proposal.

Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said that the AD understands the motivation for the proposal was the need to “ensure that solidarity is the basic building block of trade union activity”.

“To protect vulnerable employees, including those subjected to zero-hour contracts, casual or part time employment as well as to discourage free riders. Solidarity should be the foundation stone of all social policy,” Cacopardi said.

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