Gibraltar Chronicle Logo
Local News

Unions analyse cross-frontier issues against Brexit backdrop

Johnny Bugeja

Unite the Union on Friday participated in “constructive dialogue” on key cross-frontier issues with other trade unions in both Gibraltar and Spain through the offices of the European Trade Union Confederation [ETUC].

A wider range of topics of mutual interest were discussed and “significant consensus” exists, the union said.

The discussion, held virtually, came against the backdrop of an ever developing position on Brexit both domestically in Gibraltar and internationally in the UK and Brussels.

“These were important and positive discussions with our trade union colleagues that complement well the existing work of the Cross Frontier Group and the Inter Regional Trade Union Council,” said Unite’s Kaylan Lucas, who is also Secretary of the Inter Regional Trade Union Council.

“There is very much a shared agenda for the protection of rights of all those working and residing both sides of the frontier.”

“A number of actions and concerns were discussed, with an immediate and short-term goal to jointly raise awareness amongst cross-frontier workers of the need to check that they are covered by the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement and retain EU rights from the 1st January onwards.”

“A longer term concern relates to the ability for Gibraltar to attract new labour from across the frontier beyond the 31st December whether EU or non-EU nationals, with all eyes on the talks between the UK and the EU as to a deal or no deal.”

“There are very real and immediate issues around the prospect of a no deal and the no deal notices that are being issued, which will see negative impacts particularly in relation to haulage from the UK to Gibraltar and also concerns around the ability of individual Member States to veto any potential deal.”

“Unite will continue to push for protections post-Brexit of all workers and will continue our collaborative work with our sister trade unions through the Cross Frontier Group and the Inter Regional Trade Union Council.”