Shipyard workers are not mere numbers – AD
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Alternattiva Demokratika has said that shipyard workers, like all other people in Malta and Gozo, should be treated with respect by the Government, and not merely treated as numbers.
Spokesperson for Social and Economic Development Michael Briguglio, who attended the demonstration in Paola on the issue, expressed AD’s position on the Shipyards issue, namely
1. It is ironic that whilst Government is speaking about the contribution of ageing workers to society, the same government is aiming to dispose of such workers through retirement schemes.
2. Scientific economic and sociological studies, carried out before the privatisation process, should show the true situation at Shipyards, including the actual number of workers required in order that the company may be viable.
3. If these studies show that there are workers are surplus to the Shipyards’ requirements this should be shown through scientific studies, they can be involved in productive jobs such as those concerned with the creation of alternative energy sources or, alternatively for technical work with local councils, parastatal companies or other governmental agencies.
4. The State also has an important role to play in the provision of retraining schemes where necessary.
5. All Shipyard workers should be given the opportunity to remain in employment. Whilst AD is not against retirement schemes and believes that these should be available for those who need them, at the same time AD emphasises that those who do not remain with Malta Shipyards should be given the opportunity to be engaged in productive ways by both the public and private sectors.
6. AD urges Government and trade unions to work hand in hand so as to create proactive solutions for the benefit of workers and the country.