Updated: ELC employees won’t lose their job – Government

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The dismissal of around 200 employees working with the Environmental Landscapes Consortium (ELC) will be retracted, the Government has said on Tuesday evening.

The Ministry of the Environment reacted after the consortium of companies which tend to the urban landscapes in towns and roads informed its employees that they will be dismissed. News of the mass redundancy comes from sources within the company speaking to Newsbook.com.mt.

In its statement the Ministry said that it would like to ensure that the work carried out by ELC continues and it ensures that this is improved.

According to the ministry a public call for companies to provide such work is already being prepared. This is being done in line with the recommendations given by the Auditor General in the 2017 report about a contract which was awarded in 2002.

The Ministry explained that the ongoing discussions with ELC are at an advanced stage in order to reach a transitional period. Adding that this will guarantee employment to the workers in case the contract is awarded to another company.

ELC laying off ‘around 200 workers’

The Environmental Landscapes Consortium (ELC) is dismissing around 200 of its workforce Newsbook.com.mt has learned.

News of the mass redundancy comes from sources within the company speaking to this newsroom.

The company, among others, has been responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of public spaces for a number of years.

In a letter sent by the company to its employees and received by Newsbook.com.mt, the company explained that the Public Private Partnership contract between ELC and Central Government is set to end on 31 December 2019.

The letter explains that the company had made several attempts to renew the contract. However, until now there hasn’t been a conclusion favourable to the Government. They add that as a result, the company was not able to provide alternatives other than to issue collective redundancies.

Remaining workers will be able to work until 31 December 2019. All remaining workers will leave the company by  1 January 2020.

The source explained that a group of workers working in the company received their letter today. He said it appears that these letters are being sent to company employees.

Newsbook.com.mt contacted with the company but it refused to comment on the situation. A similar response was given by a spokesman of the Ministry of Environment, which held the contract with the company. The spokesman said that the Ministry is not ready to comment on the situation at this time as discussions are at a critical point. They said that the Ministry will officially comment in due course.

Last August, the ELC consortium said it will cease to take care of the landscaping of public spaces, with the Auditor General costing the country more than € 100 million over the next 15 years. In a statement, the Environment Ministry said that is following the latest developments closely. A number of local councils have been informed by the ELC that it will not renew it’s contracts on work related to landscaping and maintenance at various locations.