Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
The most common complaint the GRTU receives by businesses relates to the lack of workers; and when businesses announce large projects, the only persons who apply are from Pakistan, Serbia and India. This was stated by the Vice President of Finances and Administration within the Malta Chamber of SMEs (GRTU), Marcel Mizzi.
Mizzi was discussing this issue during an interview with Fr Joe Borg during the programme The Newsbook Hour on the radio station 103. Presenter Peppi Azzopardi was also invited for this interview.
Mizzi insisted that it is not uncommon that businesses employ unregistered workers, as foreigners’ work permits take a long time to be processed and approved. He added that thanks to the GRTU’s involvement, some work permits are not taking two weeks instead of the usual six months.
‘If living wage is introduced, Government should pay wage difference’
During the interview, Mizzi explained that if Government wishes to introduce the ‘living wage’ in Malta, it itself needs to pay the wage difference.
The Vice President insisted that presently, a delivery driver earns around €17,000 annually. He added that some need to use that wage to support an entire family. The living wage is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs. The goal of a living wage is believed to allow a worker to afford a basic but decent standard of living. Mizzi insisted that many businesses across the globe are against the living wage. He added that is Government wishes to introduce this new concept, it will need to suffice the pay gap itself, as a worker’s pay should be proportionate with how much one actually works.
‘Maltese employers willing to teach foreign workers’
He insisted that Maltese employers are willing to teach foreign workers. He reminisced of an experience where a grocer had employed two Indian nationals who at the time could speak neither English nor Maltese. Mizzi emphasised that with some time and patience, they started to learn.