Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

News and Information from Gibraltar on Equality, Human, Gay and Social Rights

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

We back MOD workers and Gibraltar's pensioners

The Chairman of Equality Rights organisation GGR, Felix Alvarez, has today issued a statement giving ‘unequivocal support’ to workers following the MOD’s announcement that the in-house bid for contractorisation of services will not be awarded to the Unions.

“The reason given by the MOD is price-based,” said Mr Alvarez. “Price is by no means the only consideration in tenders – whether this one or any other. Gibraltar and its workers have provided quality and loyalty over a very long period of time. The considerations which have led to this decision by the MOD are neither apt nor reasonable. The UK has a moral and historical obligation to the Gibraltar workforce in return not only for the historic ties between Gibraltar’s workers and the MOD, and due to which British interests have been served more than well over many years and emergencies, but also in return for the use of Gibraltar and its facilities. This is our land and our workers and the price is ours to set.”

“If Britain wishes to treat Gibraltar’s workers, their services and the facilities available on our land in terms of price, then they must also be ready to understand that the price of continuing to rely on both the workforce and the facilities on the Rock is also a matter of contention for us as Gibraltarians. It is not good enough for Britain to forego its moral, political and social responsibilities to Gibraltar and Gibraltarians whilst, at the same time, dispensing with equal treatment for Gibraltar’s pensioners as a means of executing its purported sense of equality for Spanish pensioners by providing terms and conditions for settlement of the pensions dispute which are favourable to one side and not to the other. That has a name: and the name is ‘discrimination’”

“Whilst, on the face of it, the two issues may appear to be distinct, the real issue is to what extent is Her Majesty’s Government willing to sacrifice Gibraltarians over price on one of the issues, whilst clearly distributing money generously on the other in an unequal offer. Gibraltar’s workers and pensioners have my full and unequivocal support and backing not only on political grounds but also for moral and equality reasons.”