Written by Blog, Chemicals & Energy, The Union

GWU Chemical and Energy Section

This section represents:

  • 30 companies
  • It is one of the largest Sections within the GWU
  • Workers in the pharmaceutical, plastic, rubber, fuel and gas industries
  • Workers in the tobacco industry
  • Employees working with Lufthansa Technic Malta
  • Workers at Enemalta and Engineering Resources Limited
  • Workers at International Engineering Services Ltd.
  • Full-time, part-time and part-time employees
  • Workers with different cultures, beliefs and sexualities

The is the purpose of this section:

  • To work continuously to improve working conditions and ensure that workers’ rights are not violated
  • Ensure that the health and safety of workers is adequately protected
  • To reach a compromise between members and employers
  • To help every employee for different reasons
  • Treat everyone equally
  • Explain to workers that they also have obligations to their employers
  • The Section Secretary will assist members at disciplinary hearings and at hearings held by Industrial Tribunal.

The collective agreement

  • A very important document that is agreed upon between the union and the management of the company
  • A set of rules that both parties must respect
  • The process starts when the section secretary asks GWU members to suggest changes they would like to have.
  • There will also be a call for new ideas to be included in the new collective agreement
  • Everything will be discussed with the GWU committee in the company and then negotiated with management
  • Once an agreement is reached, the secretary presents it to the union members, and it is signed if all parties agree.

How does this section work?

  • Form an operations committee that meets monthly to discuss situations that arise. The committee is elected by all GWU members in the company.
  • Elect a shop steward from among the members to represent them.
  • Representatives from each class will be selected as stated in the collective bargaining agreement. They are responsible for urgent situations and must be in constant contact with the Secretary.
  • The secretary shall arrange regular meetings with the committee to discuss any problems that may arise
  • All issues will be discussed with the management of the same company to reach an agreement for the benefit of both parties.

How is the section developing?

The Section is working to find new members, especially in the very fast growing field of pharmacy. The more a Section evolves, the more changes must be made to ensure that the Association continues to provide the best protection for members. Today, the Section represents the largest companies, most of which are global companies with plants in various countries around the world.

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The Secretary of the Chemical and Energy Section

Rita has been a trade unionist since 1980. She worked for a toy company. She started as Machine Operator and ended up at Middle Management. For several years Rita was elected Shop Steward, was elected to the GWU Council and held the position of Section President for 6 years. In 2016 she was unanimously elected as Section Secretary.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending a day at the beach, and traveling. Family means everything to Rita. She does not tolerate bullying, violence, or discrimination. She believes that the world of work is constantly changing and that workers themselves must take the initiative to face challenges and adapt to new circumstances. Workers need to be proactive and no longer react passively to what they see around them.

A little history about this section

This section was founded in 1971. At that time it was called Chemistry, Energy and Printing, but a few years later the GWU was reorganized and the printing section did not stay with this section. The section changed its name to what we know today as Chemicals and Energy. Since then, Enemalta and the Petroleum Division have become part of that section. It is worth noting that two members of this section held the position of Vice President and Deputy Secretary of the GWU.