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Charges Set For Employer Of Unpaid Migrant Assaulted By Boss After Demanding Rightful Wage

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The former employer of Olandu John Bright, the migrant worker who was attacked by his ex-boss after demanding his rightful wage after he was exploited and denied his full pay, will be charged in court over the incident.

Lovin Malta is informed that Alistair Bezzina will be charged in court tomorrow with a raft of employment-related infringements, including failure to adequately register Bright as an employee. 

National outrage erupted in September 2020 after it emerged that a garbage collection company was paying Bright, a 25-year-old asylum seeker from Nigeria, just €2.50 per day for 11-hour workdays.

He claimed he worked from 6am to 4-5pm for 21 days for the refuse company in question, and only earned €250 during this time, or €1.20 an hour, and ended up quitting, unable to fund his own transport to work.

Bright was then assaulted on camera after demanding more money than the €250 given for 21 days of work. 

However, when the company was approached for their comments, they claimed that the worker had only worked for them for 18 days instead of 21, and had stolen €250 on the day he quit his job. This was vociferously denied by Bright.

Bright’s employer even allegedly tried to bribe him following the incident with a video seen by Lovin Malta showing how Bright was offered a cheque of €700 on condition that he dropped the case while he was at the police station.

Separate investigations from the police and the Department of Industrial Employment Relations were opened. Almost a year since the incident, Bright’s employer will now be charged with a series of employment-related infringements. 

The charges come amid a renewed focus on the treatment of migrant workers in Malta after Lamin Jaiteh was dumped and abandoned on the side of the road after sustaining serious injuries following a two-storey fall on a construction site

What do you think of the case?

 

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Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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