The Malta Chamber and GWU call for urgent consultation on coronavirus

Employees work on a medical supply production line at a factory in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China February 28, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

In the context of the Coronavirus situation, the Malta Chamber of Commerce stated that the health and welfare of employees is the foremost priority but the damaging effects on businesses and jobs need to be mitigated.

The Chamber emphasised that the situation is crying out loud for clarity, calm, common sense and consistency.

It has called on the Authorities to open urgent consultation on all matters related to COVID-19 and industrial relations and business and a meeting of the Employment Relations Board was subsequently called for Monday only for the stakeholders to receive notice of cancellation shortly afterwards.

The Malta Chamber said that on Friday morning it was decided that consultation concerning coronavirus was transferred to the MCESD at a later date.

The Chamber reiterated how urgent dialogue and consultation are required in the interest of national health because measures taken in the public sector must be complementary and applied in the private sector.

In the meantime the General Workers Union (GWU) has written to the MCESD Chairperson, John Bencini to immediately convene an urgent meeting in view of the COVID-19 which is spreading throughout various countries.

The General Workers Unions also said that the current situation in Malta and how the country is dealing with the pre-containment stage of the virus.

The GWU is calling on authorities to discuss a national plan on the prevention of the virus and how the virus could affect the Maltese economy.