About 1,300 Maltese workers went on strike August 1, to back a demand by the General Worker Workers Union for a 15 percent wage increase.
About 1,300 Maltese workers went on strike August 1, to back a demand by the General Worker Workers Union for a 15 percent wage increase. The Union claimed the wage rise on June 23, asking for the increase to be back dated to April 1, 1959. Most of the strikers are employed by British Oil Companies and construction firms. As yet the essential oil services are un-effected, troops are operating distribution machinery.
In reply to Union demands, the companies offered a rise of 15 percent from the date of claim and a GBP30 bonus for each man. This was turned down by the Union and the strike was on. Aircraft on the Malta route are refuelling at other stops on the flight route. The Armed Forces are able to provide their own fuel, thus the people most affected will be the general public, with no sign of a break in the deadlock.
Over 200 cinema employees were also out of work on the island when Malta's 58 cinemas were closed down July 30 for an indefinite period. With the Government's refusal to abolish entertainment duty and lower the adult age from 21 to 12 years exhibitors decided to close down. As yet there is no sign of an agreement between the two.
On July 28, British Colonial Secretary Macleod, announced that a three-man commission would soon be sent to Malta to work out a new constitution. One of the members will be from another Commonwealth country. The islands constitution was suspended in April 1958, when Premier Dom Mintoff resigned over the issue of who should control the police. A Governor rules the island with the aid of an Advisory Council.