The Malta Independent 6 December 2023, Wednesday
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GWU orders industrial action at Mellieħa home for the elderly over ‘risky food handling procedures’

Thursday, 16 November 2023, 16:20 Last update: about 20 days ago

The General Workers' Union has issued directives to care workers at the Mellieħa home for the elderly "over various shortcomings in occupational health and safety for these care workers of the support services company."

"These care workers have been instructed not to serve any soups or other hot liquid foods, until a solution is found to address health and safety risks for these workers and residents," the union said.

The directives come in the wake of new food handling and distribution procedures introduced by the company Care Malta, which represent a health hazard to both workers and residents, particularly in the case of hot liquid foods, the GWU said.


The GWU's Government and Public Entities Section said "neither union representatives nor Support Services management or workers were consulted prior to the introduction of these new measures."

"The GWU attempted many a time to arrive at an agreement with Care Malta management, even setting up a meeting with the OHSA, as well representatives from Support Services Ltd, and the Ministry for Active Ageing, together with union representatives and workers," the GWU said. 

"It was immediately made clear that the GWU's demands on workers' and residents' safety were justified and that both workers and residents were at risk of burns. Support Services management insisted that workers had to be protected on their place of work and that no client could risk their health and safety."   

"With no resolution to the impasse between both sides and with a report from Support Services Ltd's health and safety officer not yet complete, the GWU's section for Government and Public Entities had no choice but to issue directives until a solution is reached."

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