Jan 22 - Unite National Officer Anticipates “Productive And Constructive” Dialogue With Government To Resolve Agency Workers Issue

Unite the union’s National Officer with responsibility for Gibraltar, Stuart Davies, has written to union members to thank them for their participation in last week’s demonstration.

Mr Davies also says he anticipates “productive and constructive dialogue with the Government of Gibraltar” to resolve the matter.

Here is the letter in full:

Dear Member 

I am today writing to all Unite members regarding the demonstration and march on Wednesday to promote the issues of fairness and equality in the labour market and to highlight the abuses of insecure work. 

The overwhelming consensus was that the demonstration and march was a massive success, the numbers on the day, the spirit and mood in which the demonstration was conducted, the contributions made by attendees giving speeches on the day or interviews to the media and the coverage that the demonstration and march received were all huge contributors to what I believe was an historic day for Unite and the working people in Gibraltar. 

I wanted to e-mail our membership to thank all and any of you that supported the demonstration and march, whether that was actually attending or publicising the day of action and encouraging others to attend or contributing in any other way, regardless of how big or small that contribution may have been. Special thanks has to go to the officers, staff, activists and members of Unite for the tireless work in building the demonstration, the numbers were breath-taking and the working people of Gibraltar, whether Unite members or not have provided Unite with a clear and firm mandate for delivery on this issue. 

So what are the next steps? The union sees the event on Wednesday as a culmination of the concerns and frustrations that Unite and its members have harboured over the issues that we were raising and Thursday was the start of the resolution and the way forward. Myself, the officers and both the Chair & Vice Chair of the Unite Gibraltar Committee met with the Chief Minister yesterday to commence the dialogue on the issues that we raised and the union were met with promising noises from Government. 

Please be assured that this dialogue, any negotiations will be conducted with full transparency and members will be kept fully updated. We will be presenting a formalised list of the union’s demands and aspirations to the Government by the close of business on Friday 1st February which will develop the headline demands that appeared in my Gibraltar Chronicle article on Wednesday. This shopping list, for the want of a better word, has evolved across the last few days and in light of the conversations we were having with attendees at the demonstration. We anticipate productive and constructive dialogue with the Government of Gibraltar. There are shared aims and goals where there is consensus, but also no doubt areas where there is disagreement which we will work through and the union will remain pragmatic providing meaningful progress is being made against this agenda. The message is clear from our members, they want progress, not promises.  

Remember if you were docked pay on Wednesday for stopping work to attend the demonstration you will be eligible to claim strike pay and you should contact the Unite Gibraltar Office for a form and advice on how to claim. Also if you are aware of any Unite members that have not received this communication, please pass it on and ask them to contact us with their preferred e-mail address so as we can communicate directly and quickly with them in future. Also if you are aware of any colleagues that attended the demonstration, are impacted by the issues or support the campaign that are not union members, encourage them to join the union, membership forms can be obtained from the Gibraltar office or they can join on-line at www.unitetheunion.org. Also if you wish to get more involved in the union’s activities, please also contact the union’s office in Gibraltar to discuss in more detail. 

Once again I thank you for your contributions to the success of Wednesday; however small or large those contributions were, I was and remain immensely proud to have been part of the success of the day and so should you, it is days like that which remind me of my pride of being a Unite member, a trade unionist and a trade union official representing the working people and Unite members of Gibraltar. 

I know that we will face challenges in the future and the highs of Wednesday will not be the norm, so enjoy the achievements of Wednesday and we move forward to win on this issue.