September 16, 2019
 In 2024-Right to Organize

Topic: 2024-Right to Organize
Country: Malta
Delegate Name: Jake Rodbaugh

Many countries around the world not only have labor unions but also encourage them in other countries. In their 2022 Human Rights Report, the Maltese Government states that employees not only have the right to remove themselves from any situation that they deem to be too dangerous. Malta has the unionization rate in the EU, with around 1 in every 2 workers being a part of a labor union. The Maltese Government recognizes this and has since made several changes to the law to increase the protection of the labor unions. Under these current laws, labor unions have the right to request recognition from an employer. Once recognized by the said employer, the trade unions can then start to negotiate and bargain for whatever deals that they deem fit. The current EIRA ( The Employment and Industrial Relations Act), which serves as the main form of employment law in Malta, recognizes that as an association of persons, a trade union is capable of entering into contracts. Furthermore, it is also within the right of trade unions to act in contemplation or furtherance of trade disputes. Subject to certain restrictions imposed by law, a trade union is also capable of suing and being sued. Although the EIRA regulates the status, registration, and conduct of trade unions and employers’ associations, it does not prescribe or regulate trade union recognition at the workplace. In Malta, people in unions are not only protected from workplace accidents but are also protected from discrimination, too. The EIRA defines discriminatory treatment as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction which is not justifiable in a democratic society including discrimination made based on marital status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, sex, color, disability, religious conviction, political opinion or membership in a trade union or an employers’ association”. Several subsidiary legislations enacted under the EIRA and other Acts further strengthen the prohibition against discrimination. Malta will continue to protect labor unions not only in Malta, but those around the world as well.

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