THE Gibraltar Government has denied Chamber of Commerce complaints that it was not consulted on this week’s updating of trade union regulations.
The new rules force all private companies to recognise the presence of unions for wage discussions and private hearings, the main reason why unions were created in the first place.
The government said it consulted the Chamber and other business groups on the draft of the Bill in 2020.
But the Chamber of Commerce suggested it wanted to have a say on the final legislation.
“Meetings were held with the Chamber on this subject, their views were received orally and in writing and those views affected changes which the Government made to the legislation,” said the government in a statement.
Looking back at that date, the Chamber said it ‘had questioned why the Government should be doing the bidding of the unions by making recognition of the Union mandatory’.
The Chamber even pointed to the way the situation is handled in the UK.
There, the Conservative party that has been responsible for the UK’s economic collapse denied union recognition.
“Gibraltar should have opted for parity in this regard and not sought to give the Union greater powers than its UK counterparts,” the Chamber charged.
But the coalition between the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party – which has its roots in the working class unions and obtained their support in most recent elections – and the Liberals hit back.
“The parties that make up the Government put in their election manifesto that we would introduce this law,” said the government.
“The vast majority of the voting public, by three to one in 2015 and by two to one in 2019 decided, contrary to the Chamber’s view, that such a law was necessary.”
With the party priding itself on delivering as much as possible of its party political manifestos, this latest law was long overdue, unions have noted.