Right of Reply

Friday, 23 August 2013, 12:29

as reported by The Malta Independent

Support Services Ltd said the real problem is not between care workers and the company that employs them but the attitude of management at Mater Dei Hospital, St Vincent de Paul residence for the elderly and Mount Carmel Hospital.

Support Services Ltd, contracted to supply the services of care workers at local public hospitals, highlighted the issue in a letter addressed to General Workers Union secretary general Tony Zarb.

The letter was in reply to Mr Zarb’s statement on Tuesday, while closing a GWU sectional meeting on government and public entities.

It argued that the management makes a distinction between employees of the company and those directly employed by the public service, giving them a different treatment.

Mr Zarb warned employers who employ care workers with poor conditions that they will find a strong union which will defend these employees. He also called for concrete action against precarious employment.

The union, he warned, was to seek the blacklisting of companies who do not treat their workers properly and insist that they will not be given any contracts.

In the letter, lawyer Ian Spiteri Bailey, on behalf of Support Services Ltd, said the comments made were unfounded and “an uncalled for attack”. It was unjust, short sighted and void of legal or factual basis and was also followed by threats that do not bring about any benefits, especially for employees.

In light of the clarifications the company made in a three-page letter, Mr Zarb was requested to withdraw his unfounded allegations and statements as well as threats and is holding the union responsible for any financial damage it may sustain.

A copy of the letter was sent to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo, Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia, Family and Social Solidarity Minister Marie Louise Coleiro Preca and Parliamentary Secretary Franco Mercieca, responsible for the elderly, as well as to the Care Workers Union (Malta).

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