Charlot Zahra The President of the Malta Dockers’ Union (MDU), Joe Saliba, Monday announced that we would be tendering his resignation with immediate effect following investigations by the VAT Department and the Employment Department into the Union’s operations.
Saliba, whose term expires in one and half years’ time, explained during the Union’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held Monday that he did not expect another trade union to ask for an investigation on another union “with the aim of endangering the jobs of hundreds of workers that earn their living from the Maltese ports.
“I also did not expect to be defamed with all kinds of claims and lies about me and my consultants,” the MDU President claimed.
Every MDU member had the right to criticise him and make his proposals, inspect the Union’s operations and make his voice heard if he was not satisfied.
“However nobody had the right to invent stories about us and tarnish our reputation,” Saliba insisted.
“We are here to lead this Union with your approval,” he said. “If there are those who want a change, they have every right to do so,” Saliba insisted.
“It there is anybody who believes that he can give a better contribution to the interest of port workers, he has every right, and is obliged to move forward and join the leadership of this Union,” the MDU President added.
Saliba explained that in view of all the accusations that were made against him, including that he was clinging to the seat of power, he had decided with immediate effect to give the opportunity to those who believed that they could lead the MDU in a better manner to “move forward” and submit their nomination as Union President.
“Therefore I am resigning from the post of President a year-and-a-half before my term expires and I declare that tomorrow (Wednesday) I will issue a call for nominations for MDU President,” Saliba declared.
He called on the MDU members to keep the Union “united and strong”.
Earlier, Saliba had revealed that the VAT Department and the ETC had investigated the contracts of port workers, as well as those of part-time workers following a request by “another Union”, which he did not mention.
“Karmenu Vella and I were interrogated for entire hours and days by the Employment Department and a number of workers were also interrogated, most of whom are the same children and relatives of Licensed Port Workers,” Saliba added.