The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

Unions fume over rumours that vaccine will be made mandatory for certain sectors

Wednesday, 12 January 2022, 16:29 Last update: about 11 days ago

A number of unions have demanded clarity over rumours that the government plans to make vaccination mandatory for employees in certain sectors.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, F.O.R.U.M president Paul Pace called for an urgent meeting of the Malta Council for Social and Economic Development (MCESD) to discuss these concerns.

Abela said that during a meeting with the Employment Relations Board on Tuesday, health superintendent Charmaine Gauci “made it clear that her presence was just for the scientific purposes only and was more than just evasive regarding the concerns of the Social Partners on the quarantine measures.”

Not only were the queries and concerns of the social partners left unaddressed, but more issues surfaced during the meeting, Pace said.

“FOR.U.M is also concerned that the Government could be preparing a legislation that certain workplaces such as the Medical and Hospitality Sector, mandatory vaccination will be implemented.  Such legislation, even if this could be just a rumor, needs to be discussed at MCESD since the ramifications are enormous on both the unions and the employers.”

Pace said MCESD meetings should not only take place at the request of ministers. When these are requested by the social partners, he said, they are ignored.

In a separate statement, the Malta Union of Teachers, which is an affiliate member of the confederation, also objected to the rumoured plans for mandatory vaccinations of categories of employees.

“The union has presented its objections from the onset of the vaccination programme, and whilst it has worked for its members to have access to vaccinations, it shall remain against any measure to enforce vaccinations of categories of employees,” it said.

MUT said that, whilst it shall continue to cooperate with the government in its vaccination programme, it shall strongly object to any arbitrary decision to enforce vaccinations of categories of employees.

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