24 JULY 2002

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AD appeals for consensus on Industrial Relations Bill

Alternattiva Demokratika yesterday appealed for a consensus to be reached on the Industrial Relations Bill so its could be implemented and extend it various rights to workers.

Commenting on the controversy on the Bill's Article 64, AD Deputy Chairperson Mario Mallia explained, "The Green Party strongly appeals to government to amend the clause which allows the prime minister to increase the list of essential services without consulting Parliament. Similarly to the Unions, we strongly hold that a prime minister should not be able to change the list at will in the future. This could result in arbitrary decisions which possibly threaten workers' basic rights."

Mr Mallia added, "Alternattiva Demokratika is also appealing that the Industrial Relations Bill should state in black and white that part-time workers should enjoy the same rights as full-timers on a pro-rata basis. Vague wording on this issue will make it easier for certain employers to keep exploiting part-timers."

Mr Mallia expresses the view that that it is healthy that so much debate is taking place within the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) and within civil society regarding the Industrial Relations Bill.

"Alternattiva Demokratika has also participated in this debate by submitting progressive proposals in favour of health and safety, gender equality, and other progressive rights. We hope that this positive experience be reflected by making the MCESD more inclusive, thus including civil society organisations such as Environmental NGOs and Consumer organisations."


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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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