UĦM seeks meeting with PM as it considers industrial action on pandemic

Updated 05:31 PM

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The UĦM Voice of the Workers is seeking a meeting with Prime Minister Robert Abela in the hope that an amicable solution could be reached through dialogue before proceeding with calling industrial action related to Malta’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The union’s chief executive Josef Vella confirmed that the UĦM was considering industrial action on Saturday’s edition of Newsbook Hour on 103 and on Newsbook.com.mt, presented by Fr Joe Borg.

The Medical Association of Malta and the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses have issued directives to their members in protest at the government’s policies, particularly with respect to the organisation of mass events.

But while the UĦM – which also represents a significant number of healthcare workers – is considering a similar step, Vella said that his union would first attempt dialogue, and with this in mind, it will be sending an open letter to Abela on Monday.

He said that the union wished to bring up the concerns of many workers who feel that they are facing unnecessary danger because of the mass events which may still take place. Though restrictions have been announced, Vella pointed out that these were more akin to suggestions since they were not based on any legal notice, and could thus not been enforced.

Vella also recalled that at an earlier point in the pandemic, when social gatherings were restricted, there were fewer cases and more enforcement.

The UĦM CEO said that Malta erred in acting as though the war was won when the first wave of the pandemic appeared to subside. He appealed to the authorities to distinguish between winning a battle and the war against the pandemic, recalling that the latter could only be concluded when a vaccine is developed.