Lotto representatives to meet
finance minister this afternoon
Representatives from the Lotto Receivers Union and the Union Haddiema
Maghqudin are to meet with Finance and Economic Services Minister John
Dalli this afternoon with a view to smoothing out a number of hurdles
set in the way of the Lotto Departments privatisation, UHM Secretary
General Gejtu Vella told The Malta Financial and Business Times yesterday.
"If we manage to overcome these problems then I believe we will
be able to continue with meaningful discussions. From Maltcos
side (the Greek-Maltese consortium bidding for the privatisation of
the Lotto Department) we expect that both unions (the UHM and the Lotto
Receivers Union) are to enjoy full recognition as the receivers
representatives and that they act as their sole bargaining agents."
The fact that the consortium might deem certain lotto receiving booths
as unsuitable for their operations has also become a sticking point,
with Vella suggesting that if this does, indeed, become the case the
government should intervene.
He insists this should be done by means of supplying new booths or funding
for new booths for the locations in question.
Other obstacles presenting themselves include the failure to reach a
collective guarantee in the case of hold-ups, receivers commission
rates and the institution of a safety net in the event that lotto sales
suffer as a result of the Lotto Departments privatisation.
Once these obstacles are overcome, Vella adds, meaningful discussions
will be able to continue on a number of other points, including the
contentious issue of the Lm18,000 sales target being set by the consortium
and the fact that operators not reaching the target would be asked to
close their doors permanently.
The Finance and Economic Services Ministry, meanwhile, appears to be
keeping tight-lipped on the issue.