21 September 2014

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Enemalta workers requestedto attend 'personalised'interviews for ‘way forward’

 - Friday, 18 July 2014, 10:00

by Duncan Barry

Enemalta employees are being asked by management to attend a ‘personalised’ interview to seek a way forward on their future but employees are against this request, sources told this newspaper.

Changes at the corporation have been confirmed by the Energy Minister after he explained that the workers would be grouped in a new government-owned company, Engineering Resources Ltd, while retaining their jobs, conditions and seniority in terms of the current collective agreement. They would be assigned work by Enemalta as needed. Jobs would be retained and no one would be required to work abroad against his will, the minister said.

Parliament started to debate the bill on Wednesday after the PN protested (a day before) that the bill should not be discussed mainly because the new conditions would affect the corporation’s workers and because the government us refusing to publish the deal reached between the government and China’s state owned Shanghai Electric Power.

Workers who spoke to this newsroom insisted that their conditions will be affected negatively if transferred to other governmental jobs. They claim that some of the workers enjoy conditions which tally with high ranking civil service employees but they don’t see themselves being transferred from Enemalta’s workshops to top positions within the civil service to be able to match their current pay scale. This seems to be one of the headaches concerning both the GWU and UHM who represent different governmental sections.

Earlier this week, Labour Party deputy leader for party affairs Toni Abela was quoted on One radio saying that the conditions of the corporation’s workers will not be affected as a result of the ongoing changes. This assurance was also given by Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi many a time ever since the corporation started to face drastic changes, including when the corporation was partly privatised.

This newspaper recently reported that the Enemalta petroleum division is likely to be privatised. A few months ago, it also reported that certain employees were being told that they could face working overseas or their working conditions may be altered.

This newsroom also contacted GWU secretary general Tony Zarb to reveal the union’s position on the privatisation of Enemalta but declined to answer and instead referred the workers who approached this newsroom to go speak to him when confronted with the question that a number of workers informed this newsroom that he is against the privatisation of Enemalta. The workers who spoke to this newspaper said Mr Zarb implied so during a meeting held for workers in September.

George Pullicino, opposition spokesman on energy, said that the bill to transform Enemalta Corporation into Enemalta plc where the corporation’s assets, obligations and liabilities will be transferred to the new company, is aimed at facilitating the partial privatisation of Enemalta. He expressed regret over the fact that the government did not present the documents needed for a proper debate to take place, including the deal with Shanghai Electric, which would be buying a good portion of  Enemalta’s stakes, along with the Electrogas contract signed in September for the building and operation of a new power station.


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Evarist Saliba says:
18 July 2014 16:12

What is the meaning of "personalised interviews"? I have interviewed any number of persons in my life, both as an MUT official and a civil servant, and in all instances it was a personal encounter between me as a representative of an entity, and a person seeking a promotion, a job or a scholarship. Does "personalised interview" mean that this interview is not sought by the applicant, but is imposed by the employer?

Can this government speak straight to the people?

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GL Sammut says:
18 July 2014 17:03

Actually it is a surprise individual interview. Maybe a promotion or a raise is in store for the employee? Maybe a transfer to China? Maybe they are going to enlist them in a Chinese language class so they can understand and work with Chinese figures? Or maybe they want to find out their true colours so they can make the proper adjustments. Or maybe Santa Clause is arriving early this year?.

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Peter Gauci says:
18 July 2014 14:29

Gvern tal misthijja.

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Joe Martinelli says:
18 July 2014 12:58

Not only this government, Konrad Mizzi in particular is 'dividing and conquering' but this business of asking Enemalta employees to attend an 'individual, one on one interview', is nothing more than to identify who is 'tal-qalba' and who is not!
Those who show the least resistance or ask too many questions will be the first to be 'seconded' to the Chinese company. Will a GWU representative be present at these interviews? Just wondering.
The Minister and Jo-Jo keep harping on 'the CURRENT collective agreement will be honoured' meaning that Chinese conditions and pay will apply once the current agreement expires. Take it or leave it and then the individuals who end up with no job will be blamed 'for not facing reality'.
The only 'reality' is that this government is devious, dictatorial, and its only road-map consists of only one road which leads to Chinese colonialism.
The 'switchers' still do not understand what catastrophe they created and will have much to answer to, but by the end of this legislature it will be a bit too late!
The question is, 'will this legislature end, as it should, or will this dictatorship find reason to carry on seamlessly into a permanent fixture, more or less as what it is trying to do with Local Council elections?
Dangerous foxes, sneaking in Communist dictatorship ideals, bit by bit and aim to succeed where even Mintoff failed.

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GL Sammut says:
18 July 2014 16:55

Divide and concur is the right phrase. So first Mr Joe sells 35% or more of Enemalta to the Chinese, then he comes up with the controversial  idea of selling our Nationality for thirty pieces of silver. Could this be the beginning of the end of Malta as we know it? What is next on the selling block Mr Joe?

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Joe Martinelli says:
20 July 2014 22:16

I have long opined that the 'beginning of the end of Malta as we knew it' started in March 2013, the day after the elections.
Few cared or understood when I believe it was Joe Debono Grech, who at a Labour rally swore that "the Party had a list of who will be posted where and doing what".... or words to that effect. Few cared, listened or understood Dr. Gonzi prophetic words that the 'five seconds it took to mark the ballot could spell the end of all the hard work of the last quarter century'! How right he was.
This government is selling out to the Chinese, unconscionably, without a mandate and in a most dictatorial way fashioned after North Korean and Chinese suppressive regimes.

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John Vassallo says:
18 July 2014 10:15

Dr. Mizzi, now this is the way forward, divide and concur, what a good idea, put them in groups and speak only to their leader, I think it is called the GWU!
Do you really want to sell yourself as belonging to a Socialist, Progressive, Labour, Workers Party, because if so you do not know the meaning of Mintoff's Party? in those days he saw to it that the down and under be given a chance to raise their heads. In those days Mintoff used to make fun of the PN and all those claiming to be Doctors, I presume you would not know, you were not even born. In your cause it seem you are doing the opposite.

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