The Malta Independent 29 September 2022, Thursday
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UHM orders industrial action at Broadcasting Authority as dispute with chairwoman escalates

Tuesday, 14 March 2017, 09:34 Last update: about 7 years ago

The Union Haddiema Maghqudin Voice of the Workers (UHM) this morning ordered industrial action at the Broadcasting Authority as the dispute over the “bullying” tactics employed by the chairwoman Tanya Borg Cardona escalated to new heights.

BA staff has been ordered not to monitor current affairs programmes – one of the BA’s main duties to ensure balance – as well as not to answer phones or emails.

The dispute has been brewing for a number of weeks as employees as the BA have been complaining about the unacceptable attitude adopted by the chairwoman. Employees have been labelled as lazy and having no purpose in life by Borg Cardona.

The Malta Independent broke the story that a letter of protest, signed by the BA workers, had been presented to the Prime Minister, asking him to intervene. UHM Chief Josef Vella confirmed that bullying has taken place, and reserved the right to take action against Ms Borg Cardona as this is a punishable offence by law.

Other measures ordered for the Industrial Action, which is to be instituted effective immediately, are not responding telephones or e-mails, no processing of payments except for the workers themselves and no uploads of scanned minutes.

Mr Vella highlighted comments made by BA management where it said that its workers are “extra”, meaning that they are not needed.

“In a company, when one worker is viewed as being extra (zejda), the management takes a stand against that person. If two or three workers are viewed as extra, again, the management takes a stand against those workers. When management says that 23 workers are extra, out of a workforce of 23 persons, than it is management that is the problem and not the workers,” Mr Vella said.

“How arrogant can a person be to say such comments about an entire workforce,” he added.

He noted how in all his years of negotiating collective agreements on behalf of the BA workers, no comments were ever made about the entire workforce being extra, unwilling to work or are viewed as generally problematic.

Mr Vella took umbrage at the fact that Ms Borg Cardona is paid €6,000 per year to use her personal car, when the BA owns one vehicle and leases a second one.

He lamented how much better it would be if all social workers conducting house visits were paid to use their personal cars.

The upcoming general election was discussed, were Mr Vella cautioned how the public can be served well and provided with balanced coverage of such an important time for the nation.

He confirmed that since the letter was presented to the Prime Minister, there has not been even a “whiff” of a solution, and that there hasn’t been a slight hint of development since the saga began last October.

Finally, the decision to move from the headquarters on Mile End Road, Hamrun to offices in Valletta, was discussed.

“These new offices are four times smaller than the current office space, which has been specially designed for the needs of the BA. People need space to work, and instead of discussing with the workers and listening to their concerns, management has just decided to plough on through,” Mr Vella said.

 

 

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