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NEWS| Wednesday, 01 August 2007

GWU’s ‘opportunity’ creates just 15 jobs in Mellieha

James Debono

GWU president Saviour Sammut’s claim that the extension to the Mellieha Holiday Complex was an opportunity to create work has somewhat petered out, as a project development statement has revealed the new villas will only create 15 jobs.
The General Workers Union’s interest in the Mellieha holiday village attracted attention last June when MaltaToday Midweek revealed the union-owned company intended privatising part of Ghadira Bay by applying for a beach concession to cater exclusively for paying clients.
MaltaToday also revealed that the GWU had lobbied with the Prime Minister’s office to hasten the approval of an application for 30 bungalows in a Special Area of Conservation.
Speaking to MaltaToday in June, Saviour Sammut, a director of the company, claimed that he had only intervened in his role as “a trade unionist, so that the country does not lose this opportunity to create work.”
But the project development statement, presented before the approval of the project, states that the only new jobs to be created are those of two pool boys, six gardeners, six maids and a supervisor.
The PDS claims that presently the complex attracts more than 17,000 tourists each year and that the 30 new bungalows will serve to boost these numbers.
The General Workers Union only owns a nominal share in the Danish company which possesses 99 per cent of the shares in the Mellieha Holiday Complex. Saviour Sammut and Tony Zarb, in their respective roles of president and secretary-general of the GWU, are directors of the company, but are not paid for their post in the company.
The PDS also reveals that the new development will involve the removal of a number of protected trees which are to be relocated elsewhere. It also acknowledges that the visual impact of the development will be “widespread and adverse” but proposes the planting of native trees as a mitigation measure.

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