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Respect for decisions of management (Gozo, Court of Magistrates)

18 March 2011, Victoria, Gozo, Court of Magistrates (Gozo, Superior Jurisdiction Ref Citaz. Nru 9/2006). In a case instituted by the employees of a public corporation, the Court ruled that it should not interfer in managerial decisions on the running of the Corporation ('Il-qorti m'ghandhiex tindahal fil-mod kif il-korporazzjoni titmexxa mill-aspett manigerjali').

 

Proceedings were instituted by Gozitan employees of this Corporation who, after years working in Gozo (one of the applicants claimed to have been working in Gozo for more than 40 years and was in fact soon to retire), were transferred to work in Malta. They alleged that these transfers were vindictive and not given in the interests of the Corporation, but for ulterior motives.

On its part, the Corporation claimed that this was part of a reshuffle. Such reshuffles are carried out periodically, with the exception that in the past attempts to reshuffle Gozitan personnel were restricted because they were not moved from Gozo to Malta. Management explained that it did not want personnel to 'rust' in the same place; nor did Management wish to run the risk of certain personnel getting to know and getting too chummy with clients. The Court did not find fault in this line of reasoning.

Reference was made to the Collective Agreement, para 1.4.3, which states that while Management is authorised to transfer employees at its discretion, in transferring employees the management is to give due consideration to the employee's place of residence. 'Consideration to the employee's place of residence', according to the Court, does not imply that Gozitans have the right to work in Gozo; in the present case it emerged that management made an effort to transfer the plaintiffs to the northernmost part of Malta, to remain as close to Gozo as possible.

To read the judgement click here