The Malta Independent 21 April 2019, Sunday

‘Decisive’ meeting on petrol stations to be held today, strike not excluded – GRTU

Jeremy Micallef Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 07:45 Last update: about 4 months ago

A decisive meeting between the Malta Chamber of SMEs (GRTU) and the Government is to be held today to discuss the possibility of the Government funding the required €21 million needed to re-fit the 90% of petrol stations in Malta and Gozo which do not fall within the requirements of an EU directive.

Earlier this week, the GRTU - Malta Chamber of SMEs, did not exclude taking industrial action after the government did not maintain its promises on agreements that were reached.

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In a statement, the GRTU said the government has been procrastinating since 2014, and has also gone back on its word on matters that were already settled.

In 2014, the GRTU presented the government with a detailed study on a restructuring programme that needed to be in place by 2020.

To get in line with an EU directive, the study showed that all the equipment of 80 out of the 90 petrol stations in Malta and Gozo would need to be changed. This includes the petrol pumps, piping and the underground storage tanks.

The study noted that a total of €21 million was needed to complete all the necessary petrol pump upgrades needed to get in line with the EU directive.

Several meetings have been held since then, including more recently with the minister responsible, Joe Mizzi, but no progress has been achieved. It is clear that Mizzi is playing for time and going back on what was agreed to in the past, the GRTU said.

It therefore did not exclude taking necessary action to protect its interests.

This would not be the first time that a strike has been threatened by fuel stations: there was the possibility of such a measure being taken by the petrol station owners in 2010, 2008 and 2003.  Each time however, an all-out strike was averted.

 

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