Right of Reply: Editorial Times of Malta 11th December 2015

UĦM Voice of the Workers refers to the editorial of The Times of Malta entitled “Joining a union: right not obligation” and clarifies some inaccuracies that were depicted.

Josef Vella, Chief Executive of UĦM Voice of the Workers, underlines the fact that not all workers or those individuals who are entering the  labour market must join a union to seek employment or new jobs. UĦM Voice of the Workers affirms that employees and those who are commencing work must decide: do they want to join a union? If the answer is yes, then they have to join a union of their choice; if the  answer is no, then UĦM Voice of the Workers is saying that instead of paying a membership fee to a union, workers can financially contribute to a national fund intended to train workers.

UĦM Voice of the Workers argues that, in this way, abuse by free riders could be controlled. UĦM portrays free riders as those individuals who do not want to form part of a union, but when trade unions succeed in improving workers’ salaries,  neither one of them comes to UĦM and offers his increase in salary to charity.

UĦM Voice of the Workers states that workers in the labour market must contribute and participate in the social dialogue process. UĦM has, time and time again, referred to Tripartite Social Dialogue, that is, that mechanism that addresses problems, particularly, in the labour market. Government, employers and employees form part of this process and, hence, the three of them have to participate actively. Those employers who did not form part of an association and those employees who did not form part of a union ended up embroiled in the issue of precarious work. They still came to the negotiating  table during meetings conducted by the MCESD and imposed  on government, employers and employees to solve a problem that was created by themselves.

Josef Vella, Chief Executive of UĦM Voice of the Workers, emphasized  that principles are not negotiable and are not for sale. UĦM Voice of the Workers believes in Social Dialogue and hence whoever is involved  in it must participate in it. “Now choose how to participate: either by paying your membership fee  in a union or else  contribute to a national fund,”stresses Josef Vella.

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