One year ago today, Tony Zarb passed away at the age of 68. The news of his death and the reactions he evoked from many people show how much Tony Zarb was loved and that he made a place for himself by his example in the hearts of all those who asked him for help at any time.
Regardless of whether you agree with his principles, his approach, his views, you definitely recognise the fact that he was a steely soldier who loved Malta, the GWU, the Labour Party and above all the worker. Really for the worker who worked hard all his life to defend his rights, to make sure that his quality of life improved, and to make sure that he really got the respect and recognition he deserved for what he did day after day to “earn his daily bread” They always did this without conditions and without personal interests, even if that meant disagreeing with the government and those close to it.
Because for Tony, the worker was the backbone of our country. It was he who distinguished us as a nation. They always did so with humility, conviction and determination. They always did so with that firm tone that distinguished him, even when his health was not as good as it used to be. They always did so with that flair that made him what he would become known for in the years to come: unique.
With Tony’s death, Malta has lost a pillar. It has lost an important part of the history of the local trade union movement, it has lost a giant of Maltese society. What every worker enjoys today has its roots in the achievements he made during his time as General Secretary. For what Malta is today, it also owes to what Tony always strived for. Especially because what he aspired to is more relevant today than ever before.
Moreover, the legacy of the former General Secretary remains crucial to the work of GWU, which was so close to his heart, especially for the benefit of workers, so that they have the conditions they truly deserve. This was also expressed at the recent GWU national conference, where an overview was given of the ongoing work of the various sections and the vision of this largest union in the country.