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Section Secretaries

Rita Dimech

Section Secretary – Chemicals & Energy

Born in September 1961, Rita Dimech worked as a machine operator with Shirasuna Ltd and as a nurse at the Blue Sisters’ Hospital. In 1980 she joined Hob Electronics (a company of Playmobil) as a machine operator. In1990 she became a Quality Inspector. In 1996 she joined the Playmobil Funpark as a Sales Assistant and in a few months became a Sales Representative. Shortly after she was promoted to the post of Administrative Coordinator. Her involvement with the GWU started when she joined the GWU in 1978 and became a Shop Steward in 1981. Dimech acted as an Assistant Secretary of the Chemicals & Energy Section and was a member of the GWU Council. Prior to being elected as Section Secretary. For 6 years she was President of the same section. Rita Dimech enjoys reading, specifically biographies, and likes to travel. She also studied music at Sister Eastwood.

email: [email protected]

David Darmanin

Section Secretary – Technology, Electronics & Communication

 

Born in February 1959. David Darmanin worked at De La Rue, for 38 years. In February 2014 he was elected as section secretary for technology, Electronics and Communication section. Prior to becoming Section secretary, he served as a workers’ representative, primarily as their shop steward, which he did for more than 28 years. Together with this responsibility he was also a member of the Section Executive and a member in the GWU’s National Council. He has a passion for classic cars so in his free time he enjoys reconditioning these of cars.

 

email: [email protected]  

Sandro Vella

Section Secretary – Maritime and Aviation

Born in May 1967, Sandro Vella joined Air Malta as Cabin Crew in 1987 until 2009, he served as Secretary to the Union of Cabin Crew for 13 years (1996-2009). As secretary he was responsible for the signing of three collective agreements and a rescue plan MOU in 2007. In 2011 he joined ETC on a two- year EU project which was the Youth Employment Programme YEP. He joined the GWU in July 2014 as Assistant Secretary of the Maritime and Aviation Section. At the age of 48, in July 2015, Vella was nominated and elected as the Secretary of the same Section.

email: [email protected] 

Kevin Abela

Section Secretary – Hospitality and Food

Born in September 1968. After his studies Kevin Abela started his career in the Civil Service, and after five years he started working with the national airline Air Malta. He started to be active in the trade union field in 1997. He was chosen by his colleagues to be one of their GWU representatives and was eventually appointed as a shop steward. Throughout this period he was also a member of the Section’s Executive. In November 2020 he joined the GWU as an Assistant Secretary of the Maritime and Aviation Section, then it was in January 2023 that during an Extraordinary Conference of the Section he was appointed as Secretary of the Hospitality and Food Section.

e-mail: [email protected]

Jason Deguara

International Secretary

 

Born in July 1977 Jason Deguara is the International secretary at the GWU. In February 1996 he started working with Playmobil as a machine setter and became a member of the GWU. In 1999 he was elected shop steward of his section where he represented his colleagues. He was elected as section executive member and Council member in 2004. In 2005 at the Chemical and Energy bi-annual conference Jason was elected as the assistant secretary of the mentioned section. On the 10th of August he was elected as the secretary of the same section which position, he held for 8 years. In 2008 Jason furthered his education in social studies and gained a diploma in Industrial relations. During the National Conference of 2015 he was elected as the first International secretary for the GWU. Jason represents the GWU in important European structures, including the Confederation of European Structures Trade Unions (ETUC) as well as attending executives of other European Confederations. In his free time, he enjoys watching football, traveling, and reading.

 

email: [email protected]

Riccarda Darmanin

Secretary – Professional, Financial and Services Section

 

Born in June 1963 and attended Immaculate Conception High School in Tarxien and Upper Secondary School in Msida. She started working as a workers’ representative at Bank of Valletta plc where she worked for 32 years. In 2017, she was promoted to Financial Advisor after obtaining the Diploma as Certified European Financial Analyst which is recognized by the FCA Financial Conduct Authority of England as well as the Financial Regulator in Malta, the MFSA. She is currently pursuing her studies at the University of Malta with a Diploma in Gender, Society and Work. It was during the Extraordinary Conference of the Professionals, Finance and Services Section that Darmanin was nominated and subsequently confirmed as Secretary of the same section on 1 July 2019. She represents the GWU on various European committees, is part of EuroCadres Executive Committee and an active member of the Uniglobal Union committee. Her personal interests include travel, reading and movies.

 

e-mail: rdarmanin@gwu.org.mt

Kendrick Bondin

Secretary – Government and Public Entities

 

Born in February 1986, Kendrick Bondin representing Workers’ in the Public service focusing on European Funded projects. On the 1st of October 2013, he started his work at the General Workers’ union as an assistant secretary in the Government and Public Entities section. In 2016 he was elected as the secretary for the GWU Youths, where he was responsible for youth affairs, events, and projects. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and Philosophy and a bachelor’s in science (Hons) in sports and active Lifestyle. Previous experiences include the post of Projects Manager within the Planning and Priorities Coordination Division and as a Principal within the Office of the Prime Minister. His passion and interests include individual sports, yoga, human and civil rights. Furthermore, he has a personal interest in animal welfare and the protection of the environment.

 

email: [email protected] 

Jurgen Azzopardi 

Secretary – GWU Youths

Born in 1998, Jurgen Azzopardi worked at Maltapost as a postal operator for seven years. During that time, Jurgen started his activism in the trade unionism sector. He served as a branch representative, shop-steward, and later on, he was elected as Assistant Secretary of the Metal and Construction section. Jurgen is now employed with the public sector and is also studying to further his career at the University of Malta in the Management and Administration sector. At the age of 23, Jurgen was elected as a Youth Secretary within the General Workers’ Union.

 

e-mail: [email protected]

Theo Vella

Secretary – Disciplinary Corps, Security
and Law Enforcement Officials

In February 2015 members of the Disciplinary Corps were given the right to join a trade union of their choice, this meant that members of the Police Force, members of the Armed Forces of Malta, Correctional Officers at the prison and members of the Civil Protection now also had the right like several other workers to negotiate better conditions for them. Several workers from these sectors organized themselves and joined the GWU, therefore the administration felt that it was time for the GWU to open another section to gather these workers.

In the General Conference of October 2017 the General Secretary of the General Workers’ Union, Josef Bugeja announced that in the following weeks the Disciplined Corps, Security and Law Enforcement Officials section would be established by law. This section incorporates the Police, Soldiers, Correctional Officers, Civil Protection Officers, Detention Officers, Community Officers and Security Officers. Some of the workers mentioned are already covered by a collective/sectoral agreement that has been negotiated by the GWU, while others are under negotiation and will be concluded in the near future.

 

email: [email protected]

Jesmond Marshall

Secretary – Metal and Construction

 

Born on the 1st December 1965, Jesmond took a course in Tourism after finishing high school which, led him to work in several hotels until 1984. He joined the medical sector as a health assistant. From an early age he was active in trade unionism. Consequently, leading him to convince the health assistants to join the GWU and becoming the shop steward. 

In 1989 he left his role as a civil servant and went to work for a shipyard company. When this company closed down he was employed by the Malta shipyard, however in 2003 he was one of the workers to be transferred to a government company, which was Industrial projects services limited, he went on to work with Malta post and later the Eden Foundation/ Inspire where he worked as an IT Instructor. Jesmond went on to specialise in teaching IT.

In 2014 he went to work in the prime minister’s office where he was the officer in charge of office management. Throughout this time, he remained active in the GWU, where he was a member of the executive for the metal and construction sector which he later went on to become the assistant secretary of. He is also a member of the executive of European federation of building and woodworkers (EFBWW). Jesmond started working full time at the GWU in 2015. In 2017 he took up his current position as secretary of the metal and construction section. Jesmond is a great lover of music especially rock, movies and travelling.

 

email: [email protected]

Anna Vella

Secretary Pensioners’ Association

 

Born in May 1958 in one of the ancient villages of our island, Żejtun. At the age of eight her family moved from Żejtun to Birżebbuġa where she lived until 1981 when Anna got married to Raymond and they had their first child who is now 40 years old.

 

Anna attended Primary and Secondary School until the age of 14 when she started working in a textile factory. At the age of 16 she was appointed as a shop at SGS, in Kirkop, and was also member of the Metal Sections’ Executive.

 

After eight years she started working in a local hotel, where she could no longer represent the workers.

 

Until the year 2021 when she was approached by the Pensioners’ Association Secretary Tony Zarb, to start working with the Elderly Committee.

 

On 29 May 2021 she had her first meeting with Secretary Tony Zarb and the Committee and from then on she started her new journey until with great pleasure and honor she was appointed as Pensioners’ Associaton Secretary left vacant by Tony Zarb.

Jonathan J. Vella

Representative for Gozo

Born in March 1983 after more than 21 years as a Policeman, Jonathan was chosen for the position of representative for Gozo, a position he holds since February 2023.

From a shop steward from the beginning of the union of the Police Officers Union which is affiliated to the GWU he became a member of the Central Committee and a representative for Gozo.

From a very young age, Jonathan has been involved in various associations, including a band member with the Nadur Mnarja Band, playing football with Nadur Youngsters and after 10 years he started playing again with Għarb Rangers. He was also involved in several voluntary associations, besides taking care of the Feast Decorations Association (Għaqda Armar) of Triq San Ġwann in Nadur Gozo for nine years.

Nowadays Jonathan helps the Franciscan Community in Għajnsielem and he is also a Knight of the Confraternity of St. Peter and St. Paul where its mission is to help the people most in need.

Jonathan enjoys spending his free time with his family, as well as enjoying some of his hobbies which include fishing, hunting and farming.

email: [email protected]

Riccardo Travaglini

EURES Advisor & Business Developer

Born in 1988 in a town near Rome, Riccardo continued his studies and got a Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering, with a specialisation in Air Traffic Control and later a Degree in Business Administration and Marketing. He started working in an auditing firm specialising in disputes with the Italian tax authorities and moved to financial and administrative consulting after two years. In 2019, GWU started a collaboration with CGIL and also became a partner of Reactivate, an EU-funded mobility scheme. In November of the same year, Riccardo came to Malta to start working for General Workers Union, where he managed the Italian-Maltese contact point of CGIL and GWU and was responsible for Reactivate. In 2020, thanks to the collaboration with CGIL, GWU became a partner of PIT: Posting in Transport, an EU project dealing on posting in the transport sector; where Riccardo was the project manager. In 2021, thanks to the results obtained with Reactivate, GWU became the contact point of EURES TMS, the new mobility scheme of the EU, and from 2022 GWU became the partner of EURES Malta and he became EURES advisor representing the General Workers Union in the EURES network. In his free time Riccardo enjoys discovering the Maltese nature, he likes outdoor activities, plays rugby and enjoys following the Italian football scene.

email: [email protected]
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