Cover photo: Restaurant staff enjoy a meal during these troubling times
A little bit of kindness can go a long way in these troubling times, and a St Paul’s Bay restaurant worker has praised her employer for doing exactly that.
Kira Cutajar, who works at Bistroteca in Buġibba, said her boss Alan Bugeja, who owns two other restaurants in the region, went out of his way to assure her and her colleagues that their jobs were safe following the COVID-19 induced closure of restaurants and other venues.
“When he had to close his restaurants, he invited us into his office one by one to explain the situation to us individually,” she told Lovin Malta. “He gave us our March salaries in full and assured us all that he wasn’t going to fire us.”
Moreover, the restaurants’ chefs used the food stored in their kitchens to treat their colleagues to a staff dinner and to prepare them take-home meals.
“It makes sense because there’s all that food in the kitchen anyway, but a restaurant a friend of mine works at had just thrown away all the food.”
“It’s a small thing but it shows that our employers don’t just consider us as mere workers to be discarded at will. I hope other people learn and do the same as every little helps.”
Kira also recounted how her boss sought to allay the fears of third country colleagues, who she said were left sobbing after Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said third country nationals who end up unemployed will have to return to their home countries.
“My boyfriend and other foreigners, especially those from Serbia and North Macedonia, were scared that they would lose their work permits and be made to leave Malta. However, the owner told them not to worry and that he’ll keep them all at his restaurants.”
“Yes, charity begins at home but these people helped build the company and it would be unfair to just throw them out and let them fend for themselves. Foreign workers started crying when they heard the minister’s words and thought they’d have to leave Malta.”
Schembri has since apologised for his comments, stating the government respects all workers irrespective of their nationality.
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