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Tuesday, 8 July 2008 - Strasbourg OJ edition

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Text tabled : A6-0290/2008

  John Attard-Montalto (PSE), in writing. − Malta's historical industry is ship repair. Working in the dockyards is dangerous. Together with the construction industry, they are two main areas prone to accidents. Whereas the construction industry has been slow on the uptake relating to the use of safety work equipment, the dockyards pay great attention to safety and security at work.

Today Malta's dockyards are facing their greatest test. The Nationalist Government wants to privatise them at all costs. It appears that no other alternatives are to be considered. Diversification, niche industries or specialisation such as refurbishing cruise liners don't appear to be on the agenda for discussion.

This notwithstanding, that the Government has been told both by the Malta Labour Party and the General Workers Union that they are prepared to play their part to save the yards. These dockyards have been continuously providing not only for themselves, but also for Maltese industry, highly trained tradesmen. Their excellence is second to none.

I have personally assessed their excellence when towards the tail-end of the last Labour Government the Prime Minister gave me responsibility for the yards. I may also add that I have a personal soft spot for the yards as my father was a dockyard employee in the 1950's.

 
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