The Malta Independent 11 July 2020, Saturday

Ministry, GWU agree better safety measures needed for AWAS and residents in centres

Wednesday, 23 October 2019, 18:13 Last update: about 10 months ago

Following a meeting between the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security and the General Workers Union (GWU), the need for better health and safety measures for the workers of the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS) and the residents at the centres operated by this agency was agreed.

The meeting was held to discuss the incidents that took place last Sunday at the open centre in Hal-Far, as well as the present situation of the AWAS.


Both parties pledged to continue their communication about the implementations required to better the situation.

The Ministry's delegation was led by Permanent Secretary, Kevin Mahoney and the AWAS CEO, Mauro Farrugia, whilst the GWU delegation was led by the General Secretary, Josef Bugeja. 

Following Sunday's events, the GWU insisted that employees working with the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers should not be the ones to pay for any damages incurred by the uprising at the Hal Far Open Centre, Kendrick Bondin, secretary for the government and public entities unit within the union, had told The Malta Independent.

Bondin had spoken with this newsroom soon after the GWU held a meeting with the Hal Far Open Centre employees who were, earlier in the day, protesting outside Castille over the incident. Bondin had said that the union met with their AWAS members spontaneously.

The GWU, in a statement issued later, had said that over the years the employees in this sector faced circumstances that were beyond their control. It said that the union has already communicated with the responsible authorities and requests to increase the security of the AWAS employees were made. It said, however, that the union is ready to take the measures required to ensure the interests of the involved workers are protected, as per the law.

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