Chamber responds to pensions May day announcement

The Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce is disappointed by the manner in which the government has chosen to publish the command paper on pensions for the private sector without any effective prior notification. This is particularly the case when the government recently informed the Chamber that it had been too tied up with Brexit discussions to address several long-standing issues affecting the private sector. It appears that it has found the time to address pensions with the unions, but alas, not to hold meaningful discussions with the Chamber or the private sector at large.

At a time when employees and employers, public sector and private sector, government and opposition all recognise the importance of working together for a common cause it is disappointing that this worthwhile sentiment is not being practised evenhandedly.

Three years ago the Chamber submitted a detailed set of proposals to the government on employment-related matters.  Some of these have been addressed but a number of these remain outstanding and, to date, have been ignored by the government. Whilst the present government is on record saying that it is a socialist government and so is aligned with the unions on most issues, it must recognise that it is the private sector that creates employment and is the engine of the economy from which we all benefit. As the largest private sector organisation in Gibraltar, the Chamber deserves for its grievances and recommendations to be addressed and acted upon as appropriate.

The Chamber and many of its members recognise the importance and need to provide pensions for their employees. Indeed many Chamber members already provide pensions for their staff, but it also expects for their employment concerns to be addressed.  The Chamber will be inviting their members to comment on the command paper and will submit substantive responses to the government.  It is hoped that the government will give due consideration to the Chamber’s submissions and enter a period of true consultation to achieve an outcome which balances the interests of employers and employees alike. The Chamber also hopes the government will now engage with it meaningfully in relation to the many issues that the Chamber has raised on private sector related matters.