Precarious work in Malta is at its worst, Partit Nazzjonalista said on International Workers’ Day on Wednesday. Addressing a press conference held at the Party headquarters, Opposition spokesperson on Employment Karl Gouder and MEP candidate Michael Mercieca lambasted the economic model adopted by the current administration which they explained is based on increasing the population however lacking a proper plan. According to Partit Nazzjonalista, the economic model is resulting in a decrease of wages and an ever increasing cost of living, saying that the situation is such that Maltese and Gozitan employees are competing for lower wages rather than better wages.
Referring to the recent Eurostat surveys which showed that Maltese employees saw the lowest increase in their wages and salaries across the bloc as well as showed that wages in Malta are lower than EU average, Gouder said that workers in Malta ended in a situation where they’re competing for low paid jobs while the cost of living is not compensated through the €2.33 COLA adjustment.
MEP hopeful Michael Mercieca spoke about the lack of skills, saying that this was confirmed by Jobs Plus CEO. Mercieca said that Partit Nazzjonalista wants to address the issue of skills gap which would empower the workers attain better jobs and higher wages.
Partit Nazzjonalista referred to Work Life Balance legislation which was negotiated by the Head of Delegation and MEP candidate David Casa, citing it as an example of how the PN representatives at the EP strive to improve the workers’ condition.
‘Government should undertake study to identify the sectors at risk of social dumping’ – PN MEP candidate Peter Agius
PN MEP candidate Peter Agius speaking at UHM – Voices of the Workers general conference said that the ‘job market is under a classical social dumping scenario, where work supply is flooding the market, putting pressure on the salary and work conditions’.
Agius explained that in such a scenario there are only two possible ways forward, either to limit the influx of third country national workers in areas where they are directly impacting the salary and the conditions of Maltese workers or to compete better on quality, remarking that so far we are not competing well enough on quality.
Agius said that the European Commission country report already pointed out a serious skill gap in Malta’s job market saying this could be addressed by accessing the €700m digital transition fund coming up after 2020 by following the German Mittlestand Model.