The Malta Independent 21 May 2024, Tuesday
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GWU calls for ‘all-around enforcement’ on abuse of foreign workers after latest construction death

Tuesday, 23 April 2024, 11:49 Last update: about 28 days ago

The General Workers’ Union (GWU) has stressed upon the need for “all-round enforcement on whoever is breaking the law and abusing foreign workers” after the death of a 51-year-old Albanian man this weekend in a Sliema ceiling collapse.

The GWU also called for better enforcement to protect all persons who arrive in the Maltese islands “with ambitions for fruitful jobs” and prolific futures, “but instead are exploited by being put to work in places and jobs that pose a danger to their life when they are not skilled or trained for such particular work.”

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After expressing its condolences to the victim’s family, the GWU stated that it shall continue, as much as possible, to emphasize the need to strengthen measures for occupational health and safety. In their statement, the Union added that this pledge is also relevant with respect to the incoming Skills Pass rules for workers within the tourism and hospitality sector.

Furthermore, the GWU is calling for “the recruitment of workers who are skilled in their capabilities together with stronger measures for occupational health and safety.”

“We do not need quantity in Malta, but quality,” said the GWU.

The General Workers’ Union concluded their statement by saying that the country needs “quality, well-trained workers who can contribute to the country’s economy.” The Union argued that by doing so, the interests of workers would be safeguarded by ensuring that employment corresponds with their skills and capabilities, while serving as a balance between the desired skills being sought by companies in Malta and skilled workers being recruited from abroad.

The identity of the victim from Saturday’s construction tragedy was confirmed on Tuesday morning. The 51-year-old Albanian, who was found dead under the rubble at the scene, was named Bari Balla; the Żebbuġ resident was a father to six children.

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