After Lamin Jaiteh fell two storeys on a construction site in Mellieħa, his co-workers wanted to get medical attention – but were told that if they called authorities for assistance, they’d all be arrested.
In a new interview, the nephew of Lamin Jaiteh, Ebrima Jabbie, spoke to Lovin Malta about the harrowing day his uncle’s life was turned upside down and all of Malta got a glimpse of what it really was like to be an unprotected migrant worker on a construction site in Malta.
Explaining that Lamin, who worked as a tailor before coming to Europe, had tried to find a job in his preferred industry, he then tried to work in the restaurant industry before giving up and settling for a construction job.
“He told me that he fell down, and the people that were there, his friends, told the boss, ‘let us call the ambulance’. And he said ‘no, if we call the ambulance, the police are going to arrest all of us’.”
@lovinmaltaofficialFrom what happened right after the fall to his first reaction, here’s what Ebrima Jabbie had to say. ##fyp ##fypmalta ##malta ##lovinmalta ##interview♬ original sound – Lovin Malta
“Then, he said ‘I will take you myself to hospital’, and he took my uncle and he took him to go throw him in some place… it’s horrible, I still cannot believe that.”
“When I heard it, I couldn’t believe it in that moment, that that’s my uncle lying down over there.”
Ebrima spoke about Lamin’s mother, wife and two children are worried sick waiting for updates on her beloved. As it stands, Lamin is currently recovering from his grievous injuries in Mater Dei Hospital as a developer has been charged with 20 offences in relation to the accident and other potential crimes.
Over €20,000 has been raised for Lamin and his family since the incident was made public.
He went on to speak about the abuses migrant workers face in Malta. With little protections and no way of reporting abuses without potentially ending up in trouble themselves, migrants are forced to work and suffer in silence, hoping they aren’t maimed or injured at work.
Ebrima called on bosses to recognise the value of their workers and end abuses, many of whom are hungry, desperate men.
“It’s like slavery – your boss tells you to go up there, you tell him it’s very far, and he says ok pack your things and go home. You tell him you are sick, he says ok, if you don’t come in tomorrow, don’t come anymore.”
“Workers are not protected at all.”
Watch the full interview with Ebrima Jabbie below:
Do you think migrant workers in Malta are given enough protections?