A Kenyan father-of-two and Masters student who works as a rubbish collector in Gozo has opened up about the real nature of precarious jobs in Malta.
After being told he might lose his job if he went to rest after feeling ill on the job, Dave Maoga took to Facebook to share his experience. His story soon went viral – but he’s been left wondering how things had gotten so bad.
“That incident was a warning, and that day I had to carry on even though I was very weak,” Maoga told Lovin Malta.
“I wasn’t expecting that much love and feedback from people,” he says in reaction to the public support, “and when my boss told me I was going to to be fired if I was going to really waste his time, I just had to pull up my socks and carry on.”
Maoga, who has a wife and two young children and lives in Għajnsielem, knew he couldn’t risk losing his job.
“It was really difficult for me to see me through the day and finish the work… but I managed.”
Maoga, who is studying for his Masters in Insurance and Risk Management at the University of Malta, said that he needs to work to provide for his family.
Even though Maoga believes he has a good relationship with his employer, certain incidents showed him that he was not going to be treated fairly.
“I had left the job for some months to continue my studies, and then sometime later we met again. On this day, one guy was a little late so I spoke to the boss for a bit, and when this guy was about ten minutes late the boss said: ‘I am going to work with you now’ and called the other guy and just said: ‘you are fired’.”
“I wasn’t sure how that made me feel. Of course, my relationship with him was very good, but when I saw that, I said: ‘OK, this is exactly what happens to people like me’ and I prepared myself.”
Maoga laments how some employers in Malta feel they can get away with cruel practices as long as they have money coming in.
“Sometimes you feel like you might need time to teach people about humanity, to remind them, it is not all about money – it is about being fair and interacting with people… it matters a lot,” he said.
After the incident where he was forced to work in the summer heat while feeling ill and throwing up, he spoke to his employer.
“I told him point-blank that what he did to me was not good, and he apologised. But to me, this whole incident was a warning, a red flag, and it might mean I should get a new job and think of something new,” Maoga ended.