A Maltese police union has raised the spectre of industrial action if their members are instructed to work at the upcoming Notte Bianca festivities.
“We are very concerned and shocked by this decision,” the Malta Police Association said in a statement.
“We believe that activities renowned for numerous attendances shouldn’t take place in this delicate period where the pandemic doesn’t seem to want to leave the country in peace, and where European countries in a much better situation than us have cancelled all events this year as a precaution.”
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Arts, National Heritage and Local Government announced that the beloved festival will take place this year, but will be “spread over several weeks in October and November instead of one specific day”.
“Minister José Herrera would like to stress that during such challenging times the authorities need to take bold decisions however, notwithstanding the current circumstances, they still have the obligation to provide sensible solutions to support our artists as Arts and Culture remain an important element for Malta’s society,” the statement reads.
However, the Malta Police Association warned these performances risk compromising the health of officers who will be instructed to attend so as to safeguard the public peace, as well as that of their families.
“Police officers are people too, they have families too, some of whom are vulnerable,” it said. “They shouldn’t be treated any worse than others because of the type of work they choose to work in.”
“We are taking advice and can promise our members that we are considering any necessary action to safeguard the interest of police officers and their families who will be asked to assist in these activities, as well as similar ones in Paceville.”
What do you make of the Malta Police Association’s statement?