The Malta Independent 8 April 2020, Wednesday

The pandemic proves workers’ rights are top priority – Josianne Cutajar piles pressure on Commission

Wednesday, 25 March 2020, 20:24 Last update: about 13 days ago

"We need concrete measures protecting workers’ rights and decent conditions, especially whilst Europe is combating the spread of COVID-19",  said this Josianne Cutajar, Member of the European Parliament, when addressing European Commission in a letter penned by Socialist and Democrat MEPs in the Transport and Tourism Committee.

S&D MEPs emphasised the need to ensure decent conditions and health and safety of workers, particularly in the transport sector whose role in delivering essential goods is proving vital for Europeans.

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Cutajar said that among their demands Socialists called for guarantees on workers’ vacation leave and other conditions adding that trade unions should be involved in the implementation of emergency measures.

Allowing for more flexiblity in State Aid Rules now will enable the industry to bounce back quicker when the current restrictions are withdrawn, argued Josianne Cutajar.

The MEP from Gozo together with her S&D colleagues reiterated their call for a budgetline dedicated to tourism in the European Union’s multiannual financial framework. Josianne Cutajar added pressure on the European Commission to provide the tourism sector with financial support especially small and medium sized enterprises.

The European Parliament’s Tourism Task Force which Cutajar forms part of, called for a rescue plan for the tourism sector, with concrete measures for the short-term and medium term.

The Maltese Government has issued further measures with the aim to protect jobs in tourism and other sectors heavily impacted by the coronavirus. No less than 60,000 workers will benefit from the new package.

“We measure the strength of the economy by the ability to protect employment and the citizens’ wellbeing. The new measures prove that these are priorities for us,” said Cutajar.

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