Monday, October 24, 2011


The outgoing board members are President Gaetano, Vice President Joseph S. Vella (right from Gaetano) and Secretary General Geatu Vella (centre). Left of Gaetu you see Jesmond Bonello, the new elected Persident, behind Gaetu Vella on the second row stands the new elected Secretary General Joseph Vella and also on the second row on the extreme left the newly elected Vice President Edwin Balzan. 

 There were three highlights on the 31 Congress of the Malta Workers’ Union UHM: the election of a new President, Secretary General and Vice President, the presentation of the report “People’s Social Vision for Malta” and a critical dialogue with the three main political leaders of Malta. 

Mara Erdelj with at her right Andrew who was so kind to translate everything said in Maltese into English.

Mara Erdelj from Serbia and member of the European Board of WOW represented the WOW on the Congress together with WOW World Board member Piet Nelissen. She thanked the UHM for its contribution “to WOW’s position in the ILO as well as in Europe the more so as UHM as a Maltese union is a bridge between Europe and countries of the Mediterranean.” She also said that UHM is giving an example of international solidarity with its proposal for “a project on training and education of leaders of democratic and independent unions in North African and other Mediterranean countries” that has been freed from dictators.” She wished that in the near future more Maltese women should be involved in trade union activities.

 On the left you see Joseph FX Zahra who elaborated "People's Social Vision for Malta". In the outgoning board Jesmond was Assistant Secretary General. He was elected on the Congress as the new President.

The second day of the Congress economist Joseph FX Zarah introduced the report “People’s Social Vision for Malta” starting with the observation that ‘The Economy is for man, not man for the economy.” The report covers six themes: education, health, the family, democratic institutions, electronic revolution and better quality for life. The report is guided by “the need to factor in the human and social dimension in the country’s strategy with clear objectives to be achieved during the coming decade, by highlighting a vision complacent to the thinking, attitude, behavior and action of the human person within the European 2020 strategy which is primarily hinged to economic objectives.” After extensive discussion the report was unanimously adopted by the Congress.

Outgoing Secretary General Gaetu congratulates Josef with his election as the new Secertary General.

In the afternoon the results of the election were presented to the Congress. Elected were Jesmond Bonello as President, Edwin Balzan as Vice President and Joseph Vella as Secretary General. 

After the farewell speeches, outgoing President Tanti, Vice President Vella and Secretary General Vella were rewarded by the conference participants with a sustained applause for their years of dedication to the union

During the extensive interview of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Opposition Leader of the Labor Party Joseph Muscat and Leader of the Party Alternativa Democratica Michael Briguglio and the debates with the Congress we understood WOW that UHM plays an important role in the national social dialogue on the economic and social future of Malta.

Of course elected Secretary General Joseph Vella had the honor to close the Congress.


  1. Dear Pete,

    First of all on behalf on the UĦM (Malta Workers Union) I thank you for attending our General Conference. The Union is very proud to have launched the Social Vision 2015 document, an inheritance left by two great gentleman, Mr Gejtu Vella and Mr. Gejtu Tanti, who lead this Union for 13 years and made it what is today. The vision, in the words of Mr Josef Vella, the new Secretary General of the Union, is a social compass for Malta and other EU member states. I thank you again for this blog.

  2. dear Andrew,

    Thanks for your reaction.
    Indeed the People's Social Vision document is something to be proud of. It can be a guideline for more debates on the Europe 2020 document.