ALL THE UNION’S MEN
June 23, 2022
Photo Caption: Charles Sisarello with his friends
In 1976 Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward wrote a book called “All the President’s Men” following an investigation that uncovered the Watergate scandal and brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign when confronted by his own Republican party at the head of which was Senator Barry Goldwater. Richard Nixon was clearly a scoundrel and so is Donald Trump, the former President and the subject of the 6th January investigation. Those who abuse their position of trust are scoundrels who believe they are never going to get caught.
But there are scoundrels everywhere, not exclusively in the mega polities.
We have entitled this article “All the Union’s Men” though we have no intention of bringing anyone down but simply to catalogue events and, if we can, expose the truth wherever that may lead.
On the 1st May this year, like every other year since the erection of the monument of a Spanish worker on a bicycle at the frontier, ASCTEG held a small demonstration next to the monument. The main speaker was ASCTEG’s vice president Salvador Molina, a seemingly avowed enemy of Gibraltar, who has tried to squeeze us dry and failed, since the late nineteen eighties, attacked Sir Joe Bossano mercilessly in a speech assented to by the president of that association Juan Jose Uceda, standing next to him.
He said that Sir Joe was “el anti español número uno en Gibraltar.” He believed, he said, that Sir Joe did not have much longer to go. “Le quedan dos telediarios” he maintained and said that Gibraltar had fired fifty workers that week and were poised to fire another fifty the following week and, subsequently every week until we got rid of all the Spanish workforce. His speech was intended to incense and infuriate his audience of not more than about one hundred and fifty of, mostly, GHA and Gibraltar agency workers according to their uniforms.
They enthusiastically applauded his speech.
The week following Mr Molina’s address, reduced groups of Spanish workers, both in hospital and the Care Agency, went around their workplaces canvassing people to vote for the GSD at the next general election which they seemed to believe was imminent because they thought that with the GSD, in power, their jobs were assured. Some even said that after having worked in Gibraltar for over five years they should be allowed to vote here too and then Fabian would be booted out! The canvassing continues unabated.
ASCTEG is a relatively small association that have been pressing for Community Care for Spanish workers since the charity was established and are also calling for the right of sending their children to UK universities extended to them too at our expense. Just like Gibraltar residents.
Precisely what Spain fails to provide for their own nationals.
Very close to ASCTEG are two Unite Shop Stewards. Both are trying their utmost to establish a Union for Spanish workers in Gibraltar. The first one is Luis Ortiz Jimenez, full time employee for the Care Agency, and Antonio Morodo, working for ADA Rainbow, that provides workers for the Care Agency and GHA. They are both very close to ASCTEG so a local Spanish union would directly or indirectly be providing a bridge for ASCTEG to influence political life in Gibraltar. It does not take much imagination to see that a Spanish union’s claim would be mostly political especially if they are aided and abetted by ASCTEG.
When they approached the local authorities, they were informed that the application had to be in English and not Spanish. This annoyed them.
It does not take much imagination to realise that allowing a union for Spanish workers in Gibraltar would, for the first time in our history, be giving a Spanish entity tremendous political power in our land. This is unacceptable. This could potentially set the scene for intra union conflict that could spill out on to our streets. A huge security risk.
It is also against Unite rules to have two of its members, albeit shop stewards, attempting to establish a rival union in Gibraltar. Has anyone complained to the UK HQ? Unite HQ needs to move now before it’s too late!
But, to crown it all, we understand that Michael Netto, already retired, is trying to get both these individuals into Unite’s executive. That would be a massive own goal with a capital G. Again, this would provide a way of ASCTEG influencing the executive of Unite by having two people known to be very close to them.
Michael has his own agenda and is anti GSLP for good measure. It is believed he is trying to manipulate the elections to the executive in order to change the direction of Unite. His target is getting rid of Christian Duo, the present Chairman, and replacing him either with himself or Sebastian Sauer, an avowed anti socialist with a chip on his shoulder. His other target is Kaylan Lucas.
He sits in the executive by virtue of being the chairman of the retired section. This week he was seen with a list of names in his hand phoning and instructing people who to vote for. The election to the executive is happening as I write. The two, it is maintained in union circles, were instrumental in the GHA demo down Main Street recently. We saw Michael at the head of the demo waving a flag and Sauer with a loud speaker slung over his shoulder.
Michael was the man who, when Community Care Charity changed the rules, came out publicly asking them to reverse their decision until they had met with stakeholders. Who are the stake holders? The charity does not have stakeholders only beneficiaries.
Michael met with Keith Azopardi some days ago and immediately an application to the executive from a member of the GSD was registered at the Union House. He also invited Mathew Turnock to one of his meetings a few days ago. Matthew is staunchly anti GSLP.
Michael, as stated, is staunchly anti GSLP too, but he is also the past of the union not its future. He has no role to play in the union now. Many people are uneasy with Michael moving about inside the Union House. He should allow the younger generation to conduct the union’s affairs without his interference.
If when the result to the executive is announced and it is seen that it is a Michael Netto executive, the results should be suspended until such time as Head Office has been able to conduct an investigation! Michael should not meddle with the future of Unite! That is up to younger generations! He seems to want to have a finger in every pie.
T&GWU’s last District Officer in Gibraltar, Charles Sisarello, seems to be very well in with ASCTEG, we see him, with his wife sitting next to him, having a meal on the occasion, it seems, of ASCTEG’s 35th Anniversary, judging by a graphic poster at the left of the photograph. We see Charles contently sitting around a circular table with a glass of white wine in his hand.
We are not surprised that he has ingratiated himself with ASCTEG, after all Charles Sisarello has lived in La Linea at least for a couple of decades, or even more. He is seldom seen in Gibraltar nowadays. He is invited to all their functions and we therefore conclude that Charles shares some affinity with ASCTEG and, by extension, with the guys who want to set up the Spanish union here. We are told he is officially a resident of La Linea. He and his family live their social and family life there and they have every right to do so if they so wish.
All the communications the Government has had with him have been through his address in Spain. We never learned why he was unceremoniously pensioned off from the union but we would dearly love to know the reason why. After all the union has always been regarded as an institution locally and very much part and parcel of our everyday life. As part of the settlement figure, we believe he was given a lump sum, and allowed to keep the union car and motorbike as well as a sizable pension, we presume. He, as well as his wife, are also in receipt of the old age pension. So he is not doing too badly.
That, together with the old age pension, would make a sizable sum.