Update 9:20 p.m. –
Letters of discharge issued to more than 100 Environmental Landscapes Consortium workers are being withdrawn, the government said on Tuesday.
The workers received the dismissal letters earlier on Tuesday. They were told they would no longer be needed from next year as the consortium failed to secure an extension of its public-private partnership agreement with the government.
“Our efforts to extend the contract for a realistically adequate period have unfortunately failed so far,” the workers said in the letter.
“The company therefore finds itself in the position of having no other alternative than to proceed with collective redundancies for all of its employees”.
Workers were told their last day on the job would be December 31.
Established in 2003, ELC is a consortium led by Calamatta Landscapes and Polidano Group which is responsible for landscaping and general maintenance works in public spaces and gardens.
A 2017 report from the National Audit Office found that the deal, which has cost the government more than 100 million euros since its inception, was extended when it should instead have been dissolved due to breaches of contract.
Earlier this year, ELC informed more than half of Malta’s local councils that it was no longer able to maintain and maintain their public spaces and gardens, as it was operating the services at a loss.
The government explains
In response, the Environment Ministry said it is committed to ensuring that landscaping-related work continues and is improved. He also wanted to ensure that the service was provided in a manner that was transparent, efficient and reflected good governance.
The ministry said the process of launching a new tender had started and that it was aware of the recommendations made in the Auditor General’s report.
Talks were also at an advanced stage with existing consortia to cover a transitional period so that if the contract was won by a new consortium, ELC workers would be transferred to it.
Consequently, the letters of discharge issued by ELC were withdrawn.
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