News | Sunday, 07 December 2008

CMTU suspends MUT from confederation as things go to a head over TUC

The Confederation of Maltese Trade Unions (CMTU) yesterday went on with its threat and suspended the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) from the confederation as unanimously decided in the CMTU Council last Monday.
The confederation said had arrived at this decision because the MUT not only did not stop from the “unfounded and unjust attacks” on the CMTU’s leadership and actions.
Moreover, the CMTU accused the MUT of trying to put in negative light the officials and the other Unions affiliated to the CMTU as they unanimously appealed to the MUT, particularly President John Bencini, “to stop from acting irresponsibly and lack of loyalty towards the Confederation and its affiliate Unions”.
In a meeting of the CMTU’s National Council on Saturday morning, the Confederation decided unanimously not to take part in the meeting called by the MUT about the formation of a Trade Unions’ Council (TUC) in Malta on 16 January 2009.
“The officials of the various unions affiliated with the CMTU cannot have faith in who is appealing for unity among trade unions, that is, John Bencini as MUT President, when he and his union continued with their attacks on the CMTU and its affiliated Unions,” the CMTU said in a strong-worded statement.
In spite of this, the CMTU said it was always open so that in the best interests of its affiliates, it would continue to keep a “sincere dialogue” with every Trade Union in Malta.
The rift between the MUT and the CMTU widened after CMTU President William Portelli had given his green light to the Prime Minister’s letter to the Unions on the revised utility tariffs, with Bencini accusing Portelli of not consulting its affiliates before pronouncing itself so strongly in favour of the proposed deal.
In fact, the MUT joined the GWU and other unions in expressing reservations about the proposed deal, expressing doubts that 73 per cent of households would benefit from the eco-reduction in the electricity bill, as the Prime Minister had claimed in his letter.
Bencini said that the government’s figures included about 28,000 households, which use about 370 units of electricity a year and which were probably owned by people who live abroad or are holiday homes.
The MUT’s calculations showed that single- and two-person households would be worse off. Moreover, the authorities had set the new rates on the pretext that oil prices did not go up.
“We need to clarify some things before agreeing to the new rates,” the MUT President had insisted.
There are seven other affiliates in the CMTU besides the MUT: the Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin (UHM), the Malta Union of Bank Employees (MUBE), the Malta Chamber of Pharmacists (MCP), the Medical Association of Malta (MAM), the Lotto Receivers Union (LRU), the Malta Union of Professional Psychologists (MUPP) and the Union of Maltacom Graduates (UGM).


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