Gibraltar must be included in the Brexit transition period in order to guarantee the continued employment of existing cross-border workers, a cross-border coalition of unions said yesterday.
The statement was made following the inaugural general assembly of the Interregional Trade Union of Council of the South in Algeciras yesterday.
The unions – who include the Gibraltar branches of Unite the Union and NASUWT alongside Spanish unions UGT and Comisiones Obrearas – renewed their commitment to working together to defend the interests and rights of cross-border workers.
In a statement, they emphasised the free movement across the border of all citizens in general, of workers in particular and of goods and services, as an essential condition for the efficient functioning of the Gibraltar economy and its undoubted relation to the surrounding area.
They also highlighted the need “…to avoid measures that adversely affect the Gibraltarian economy, given its role in the creation of employment and wealth.”
In a statement, they expressed their commitment to make available to cross-border workers as many instruments as possible so that they may know and defend their rights.
The uinions, who have been heavily involved in the Cross-Frontier Group too, reiterated their call to all political and institutional entities so that the interests of workers play a central role in the negotiation process under Brexit, particularly in aspects such as pensions, labour rights and health benefits.
They also demanded mechanisms for the participation and involvement of unions and commercial interests in the Brexit process.
The unions called on workers to participate in the events and mobilisations organised to commemorate May Day, and to support the demands of trade unions in respect of collective agreements with employers and pursue wage increases based on any significant increase in profits.
They also demanded commitment on both sides of the border for the creation of quality jobs as opposed to short-term contracts, and the creation of an EURES – EUROPEAN EMPLOYMENT SERVICES office, as a public entity suited to the needs of the area.