Joseph Muscat did not Belittle our Garbage Collectors

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Now I am not a political person and I know that what I am about to write will cause controversy, but I could not stand by and see people blatantly taking what someone said out of context.

If you haven’t caught on yet, I am talking about the recent debate between PL Leader Joseph Muscat and Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia.

Image: Taken from Maltatoday

News article titles and angry Facebook posts have been swirling around accusing Muscat of degrading garbage collectors and being a classist.

Once again, before I get into my opinion and view on the subject, I will clarify that I do not associate with any political party.

Some people have taken a few words from what was said during the debate and got their knickers in a twist. The Times of Malta event titled one of their articles “I don’t want Maltese workers picking up rubbish.”

The topic came into discussion when presenter Saviour Balzan asked Muscat about the Maltese wages. Muscat went on about how he wishes to continue to increase the wages of the Maltese, specifically the minimum wage, but he also mentioned the issue of “skilled labourers” coming to Malta for work purposes.

Now while he said that if there is a need for these people to come in and fill out job vacancies then by all means we should get them, he stated that would much prefer that the Maltese themselves are able to fill out these positions, so that they can earn higher wages and have a better quality of life.

Now with regards to people claiming that Muscat has no respect to the people who are cleaning our streets I would like to direct them towards a direct quote from the debate: “I don’t want the Maltese, if possible, to go and pick up rubbish – every job has its dignity.”

Muscat clearly stated that he is first of all, aware that not every Maltese citizen has the ability to work a so called skilled job. Secondly, he mentioned that even being a rubbish collector, which is not the fanciest nor nicest job, has its dignity. Thirdly, he later says that if we could avoid the Maltese having to do “back breaking” work then he is all for it.

However, rather than focusing on the garbage collector comment, shouldn’t we be actively trying to become learned and skilled in these new up and coming jobs. A skilled job does not only mean doctor or lawyer - it is also the humble teacher, real estate agent and so many other wonderful jobs that anyone of us can attain. I think that we should aim towards a Malta where the foreigners are picking up our rubbish, to use Muscat’s analogy, because then more Maltese people can have a better quality of life.

Written by

Emma Asciak

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Joseph Muscat did not Belittle our Garbage Collectors

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