Freeport workers and JobsPlus employees are outraged at the fact that despite their high-risk jobs with respect to COVID-19 exposed, they have not yet been administered the vaccine yet.

Although these workers flagged their situation to the authorities, by the time of writing no action was taken, even after they requested intervention of UHM.

Freeport workers who spoke to Voice of the Workers Weekly explained that their concern stemmed from the fact they are required to board cargo vessels calling at the port, thus exposing themselves to any member of the crew who might be infected.

“At the same time, we cannot understand how a different category of workers who are involved in the transhipment of goods and who are not exposed to such risk, have been vaccinated,” the workers said. They added that their job was crucial for the country’s economy even in the eventuality of a total lockdown.

This situation bears similarities to that of JobsPlus employees who despite the pandemic are carrying out doing workplace inspections.

“In our case there is an anomaly as we have not been vaccinated, but officers from other public entities and members of police force who accompany us during these inspections, have been given the jab. We cannot understand the grounds on which this distinction is being made and the reason why we are being treated differently,” JobsPlus employees remarked.

This feeling of anger and frustration continued to grow after it recently transpired that employees of a private company in the construction industry, Bonnici Brothers, who do not fall into the category of front liners or an essential sector, were vaccinated. The decision provoked a strong reaction and criticism from supermarket owners, grocery stores and other essential services, who have felt they are being discriminated against since their employees who are more exposed to the virus are still waiting for the jab. To date, the authorities have not commented or explained the criteria behind these decisions.

Although the vaccination roll-out started three months ago, there are still vulnerable people including those over seventy and octogenarians, who have not yet been vaccinated. At the same time, there are instances whereby people who died years ago or who emigrated from Malta are being called for an appointment. The Government is insisting that all consignments are being used and is not hoarding up any vaccines. However, it is refusing to publish the criteria determining those sections of the population who are being prioritised over the rest.