An English language school owner is under fire for calling his employers “losers” after they protested for better working conditions outside the school earlier today.
The historic protest organised by the Union of Professional Educators is the first time EFL teachers have gathered to protest, in this case, against Clubclass Language School owner Joe Aquilina after negotiations about their working conditions broke down.
Although Aquilina was not present at the protest, he did provide protestors with fruit and water, and snapped a photo of them protesting – calling them a “bunch of losers.”
“What a bunch of losers, protesting against their place of work and not one placard against their employer,” he said.
The UPE has since responded to the status (which Aquilina has now removed) condemning the derogatory comments.
“Clubclass owner Joe Aquilina, in yet another blatant show of derision, instead of coming down to see why these teachers had gone to such extremes as to unite in protest, ensured that fruit and water were supplied,” said UPE Graham Sansone.
“As they stood there, in the scorching sun, Joe Aquilina felt it was appropriate to send a lackey to deliver his statement to the members of the press as they turned up. Yet another, now expectable, demonstration of his yellow-livered character,” he continued.
The vast majority of language teachers are on zero-hour contracts, which means they don’t get paid if there’s no work for them to do and they’re not entitled to sick leave or vacation leave. Clubclass said they have allowed for some of these benefits.
According to Sansone, some teachers at an English language school have resorted to food banks and sleeping in their cars as a result of their working conditions.
“He seemed to have so much time to watch the strike and post unprofessional comments on social media, and yet not enough time to sit down and talk things over.”
In a press release, Clubclass insisted that it offered to meet in the week starting on the 20th of July.