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Ochello urges ‘united front’ in face of Brexit challenge

Union March for Change 16-01-19 (Photo John ) Unite Union taking a stand against the exploitation of workers. Protest march from Casemates to Convent finishing in Unite Headquarters.

Outgoing Unite the Union Regional Officer Victor Ochello has underscored the importance of the Rock’s three unions working together, not only in the face of the economic uncertainties Brexit will bring but also the threat it poses to workers rights.

In his final May Day message ahead of his retirement, Mr Ochello highlighted how instead of political involvement Unite has opted for a “collective celebration” which is inclusive of its sister unions, NASUWT and the GGCA.

Underscoring the importance of unity, he said: “With a united front we can achieve our objectives. With disunity we will fail.”

“It is important that the three unions continue to stand together as Brexit not only brings about economical uncertainties but, it could also bring about an erosion of workers rights and all Unions must stand ready for any eventuality.”

“Unite, as a union cannot accept the unnecessary delays in the advertisement of long standing vacancies which could lead to inadequate skill mixes and/or the delay in the advertisement of vacancies for managerial promotions.”

He added that in January Unite, the GGCA and NASUWT jointly attended a very successful demonstration calling for employers to implement good employment practices and against the de-regulation of the labour market.

“It is crucial to resist the pressures placed on workers by immoral working practices and to overturn any current legislation and resist any future laws which weakens workers’ rights and conditions,” he said.

“The failure to identify and fight against this, will in the end in all aspects result in the deterioration of the working environment and will inevitably become a race to the bottom, thus undermining the achievements acquired by workers to date.”

This May Day marks almost 50 years of Mr Ochello’s membership as a trade unionist, thirteen of which have been whilst serving as a Trade Union Official.

“Given that Unite has always been my Pride and Joy, As I prepare myself for retirement at the age of 63, I can’t help but to feel overwhelmed with emotions, as New blood stand ready to take over the reins of Unite the Union at a local level.”

During his time as Regional Officer, Mr Ochello said the union had achieved a number of wide ranging improvements in various areas of employment concern, with the most recent achievement being that of the change in legislation from 52 weeks to 12 weeks, improving the quality of employment for many agency employees.

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