Sociologist, local councillor, activist from Malta

Friday, September 19, 2008

Liquidation of Malta Shipyards?

So the EU Commission has recommended the liquidation of Malta Shipyards.

This moment requires national unity from all those who have the social protection of Shipyard workers and the national interest at heart. The Maltese Government and the General Workers' Union should seek alliances with Governments, workers' organisations and others in order that the inflexible approach of the European Commission can be softened and be more sensitive to such social realities.

It is vital that trade unions seek work with various forms of social movements at various levels (national, European, global, etc..) in order to stem the neoliberal Anglo-American model that is currently dominating EU social policy.

Instead of policies which do away with ‘surplus’ workers, what is required is inclusive social policy which focuses on the need for such persons to be full participants in social life, not least in the world of work.

Decent work should be a key goal for social policy. As the International Labour Organization puts it, “decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men”.

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