Cover photo: CranesofMalta (Instagram)
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning that contractors have no choice but to employ foreign workers as not many Maltese people are aspiring to those jobs.
“I’m sure Maltese people who want to work [in construction] will find a job, but our children are nowadays aspiring to more comfortable jobs,” Muscat said on ONE this morning. “While I believe all jobs have dignity, we want our children to keep on studying so that they won’t have to spend their days working in the sun but can have a more comfortable job.”
Muscat was speaking in the wake of reports that Turkish construction firm TACA will bring over hundreds of Turkish workers, while paying them the minimum wage and housing them in makeshift containers.
TACA has dismissed these reports, stating it has only brought over 78 workers so far and that these earn an average monthly salary of €1,450 and are provided with private healthcare insurance, flight tickets, free accommodation and three meals a day.
“We should remain open and not erect walls or scare people about an invasion of foreigners,” Muscat said. “However, at the same time, we also need serious enforcement, including on workers’ rights and workers’ accommodation, and we won’t be afraid to take all necessary steps.