UĦM insists on immediate lockdown

People arriving at the Roma Termini railway station have their self-certifications checked by police in Rome
A woman arriving at the Roma Termini railway station is seen as her self-certification is checked by police, a document which proves where she has travelled from, after a virtual lockdown was placed on the north of the country, in Rome, Italy, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

The UĦM Voice of the Workers is calling on the government to announce a lockdown with immediate effect.

On Saturday, the union met with the leader of the Opposition, Adrian Delia and with the social partners, unions and associations representing various economic sectors, all showed their concern that the government did not announce lockdown as yet, said the union.

During the meeting with the leader of the Opposition the UĦM Voice of the Workers mentioned how;

  • Shops are shutting down and forcing employees to take leave
  • Parents have to use their leave as the government announced the closure of schools and there are cases where leave was not approved including in the public sector
  • The UĦM received reports that some employees reported to work to avoid self-quarantine
  • There are employees who are requesting to undergo a swab test but are being refused
  • Screening on Gozo ferries is not being implemented as announced by the government
  • All arrivals are not being provided with transport and therefore are using public transport
  • Imported goods are being handled by a crew who are exposed to the virus
  • Malta does not have the resources in the case of a coronavirus outbreak

In a press statement issued on Friday, the UĦM said that Malta has two options; either for government to call a preventive lockdown to avoid the spread of coronavirus or to call for a lockdown after the virus would have been transmitted locally.

The union said that the lockdown should be considered as quarantine and salaries should be paid as per usual. Till now no agreement has been reached on this matter.

The UĦM Voice of the workers said that employers must inform employees if they are to implement any changes if not the union will order industrial actions.

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