The General Workers Union (Malta’s largest union) have released a statement today condemning racism within Maltese society.
“Malta’s society, including the political class, must weigh its attitudes and words when reacting to situations in this country which involve non-citizens.”
Making remarks of the deplorability of people trying to create a climate of racial hatred against others who are simply trying to build their own lives, the Union went on to note the lack of attention and responsibility for what is being written and said, namely the threats over social media.
Particularly, after the incident within the Ħal Far open centre which saw the country witness an “accursed wave of xenophobic and ultra-nationalistic speech” – while still condemning the events that took place earlier this week.
The Union note that no one should be above the law but still believe that violence should never be the solution to a challenge faced.
In an era where social media has the power to influence public opinion, responsibility must be taken not to foment anti-foreigner hatred that divides the people within many communities, with the Union going on to say that the “attitude of ‘us and them’ goes against every principle and policy that the General Workers’ Union has endorsed since its inception”.
GWU secretary general Josef Bugeja stressed that the Union never distinguishes workers on the basis of their nationality or skin colour, telling the media:
“We don’t look at people’s skin colour, political and religious beliefs or their country of origin in our daily work, we only care about what people need, irrespective of where they come from. We practice social solidarity in our daily work, creating true integration where everyone feels they are treated like all other citizens. We certainly cannot refuse to help people on the basis of their race or religion. Indeed, the GWU was set up precisely to fight against discrimination.”
The Union has urged the authorities to take all necessary action against law-breakers and pledged to work in favour of pro-integration policies which are built on the reciprocal respect between different communities and the respect for our laws.
“Integration doesn’t mean assimilation, but living together in peace and harmony.”