Confirmed in office the officers of the central administration
The General Workers’ Union (GWU) is expected to launch a private pension fund with a strategic partner so that its member workers can start contributing to it. This is so that at pension age, in addition to the social security pension, they will have an additional pension that will help them have a better quality of life. In this way, the GWU will be the first union to have a voluntary collective pension scheme.
This was announced by the General Secretary of the GWU Josef Bugeja at the end of an extraordinary national conference that was held yesterday at the Workers’ Memorial Building. In this conference, the Secretary of the International Section Jason Deguara, the Deputy Secretary General Kevin Camilleri, the President Victor Carachi and the Secretary General Josef Bugeja were again confirmed in their respective positions.
Mr. Bugeja started his speech by saying that it is a privilege for him that as Secretary General he is once again addressing all those present in this conference which was held in the natural home of the workers that next October turns 80 years old.
He stated that over the years, the GWU has made a difference in the lives of people, workers and even society in general. “All this work that was done was thanks to the members and to you. Without you, the GWU and all of us are nothing,” said Bugeja.
“The world of work is changing. Society has changed. Even GWU is changing. But the principles that motivated us remained the same. Over the years the GWU has made a difference in the lives of workers, in society. Work that you did at the workplaces.”
The General Secretary of the GWU spoke about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here he said that the main objectives were two – those to save the lives and jobs of the workers.
He said that: “all the Secretaries together with the administration and the officers worked to save every job and no job was lost. We wanted to take care of both physical health and even mental health because everyone was being affected.”
He did not fail to mention the Covid Wage Supplement scheme which was crucial at a time when businesses were struggling to cope with the pandemic and for workers to remain in their jobs.
After Covid then the war broke out in Ukraine, and in both scenarios the biggest obstacle they had was the uncertainty and what will be happening in the future. Bugeja, however, said that in the background of all this and during this time, the Secretaries continued to make one agreement after another, to improve the conditions of the workers while increasing opportunities and jobs.
The General Secretary of the GWU spoke about the issue of the increase in inflation, the workers of the platforms, and even the directive in favor of the balance between work and private life. Apart from that, he also recalled how the GWU not only has a national role, but also gives its contribution at a European level and even internationally.
Regarding the young people, the General Secretary of the GWU said that he enjoys seeing students do their apprenticeship with the union. He also said that he is proud that for the first time, the GWU has three female Secretaries and he aspires to have a balance between the sexes at every level.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bugeja also referred to the proposal on automatic membership in a trade union of your choice. “The abuses and exploitation are still here. And you see the difference where you have an organized workplace and an unorganized workplace.”
He also reiterated that “just as they did before us, the GWU must be strong enough to stay here so that it can make a difference in society. It is important because apart from being the largest union and the natural home of workers, it is also a strategic social partner to put forward ideas and give a voice to those who are no longer present.”
Mr. Bugeja ended by thanking the Secretaries of the Sections, the officers and delegates and also all the employees of the union for their work.
The GWU with a proposal for a windfall tax
In a speech he made at the beginning of the conference, the President of GWU Victor Carachi referred to the operation of the rule of law in our country, and mentioned that one of the pillars of our democracy are the Courts. He said that justice is there to not only be done, but must be seen to be done and he mentioned cases where decisions of the Court were changed by decisions of other Courts.
He also referred to the unfair attacks made on the Prime Minister who spoke against the delay in completing a magisterial inquiry. This is even in the context that there are dozens of inquiries that are still not finished.
He also referred to the media sector and said that it, like other entities, should be regulated particularly in that which is journalistic ethics.
Mr. Carachi also referred to the high prices in our country and mentioned that the union proposed that as the European Union did when it introduced the windfall tax, which is a one-time tax, this should also be done in our country. to suppress inflation as much as possible.
As an example, he also mentioned the case of bottled water that went up in price when we are not caring for the water. “So how did he raise his price?” asked Mr. Carachi.
He concluded by wishing that this union would remain strong under the leadership of General Secretary Josef Bugeja.
At the beginning of the conference, a minute’s silence was held for those workers who left us and a video was also shown commemorating the memory of the former Secretary General, Tony Zarb, who died in May last year. After the Reading of the Minutes and the approval of the administrative report speeches were made by the Secretaries of all the Sections of the GWU which were followed by the election of the appointments.