Hemm indikazzjonijiet li m’għandniex suq tax-xogħol wieħed fil-pajjiż, b’livelli tal-pagi u kundizzjonijiet tax-xogħol li jkollhom impatt “interattiv” fuq xulxin.

Minflok, is-suq tax-xogħol inqasam f’setturi mifrudin sew u x’jiġri f’wieħed ftit jaffettwa lill-ieħor. B’mod ġenerali, għax ir-rata tal-qgħad hi daqshekk baxxa, it-tensjoni fis-setturi kollha qed tkun waħda ta’ diffikoltà fis-sejba ta’ personnel.

Jekk fhimt tajjeb, l-aktar li tinħass dit-tensjoni hu fl-oqsma li jirrekjedu snajja diġitali u finanzjarji. Hawn il-pagi baqgħu jogħlew. Iċ-ċaqliq ta’ personnel minn impjieg għal impjieg aċċellera.

Imbagħad hemm setturi fejn ix-xogħol hu xxamplat u bi produttività baxxa, u fejn iċ-ċaqliq minn impjieg għal impjieg ftit jeżisti. Sadattant jeżistu oqsma oħra b’pagi baxxi, prekarjat qawwi u esplojtazzjoni tal-immigranti.

Dil-firda fis-suq tax-xogħol qed iżżomm relattivament baxxa iż-żieda medja fil-pagi tal-ħaddiema kollha.

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IRONIJI MALTIN

Int u tidħol fl-ajruport ta’ Malta u ssuq lejn in-naħa tad-daħla prinċipali, tilmaħ fuq ix-xellug xogħlijiet ta’ bini mgħottija b’ħajt proviżorju. Hu miksi b’faċċata ta’ djar stil antik li issib — jew kont issib – f’xi triq ewlenija tal-irħula li twasslek sal-misraħ quddiem il-knisja parrokkjali.

Ir-ritratti huma magħmulin tassew tajjeb u kif impostati waħda ħdejn l-oħra jagħtuk l-impressjoni li qed tara l-ġenb ta’ triq stil Malti.

Barrani fostna jara din il-“wirja” hu u tielaq. Niddubita kemm jagħraf li qed jara rappreżentazzjoni ta’ triq tradizzjonali Maltija.

Konna (u għadna) preokkupati biex inwaqqgħu djar bħal dawn kull fejn jinsabu fiċ-ċentri tal-villaġġi. Minflokhom intellgħu appartamenti moderni jistrieħu fuq garaxijiet.

Hi ironija Maltija li barrani jara triq tradizzjonali kif m’għadhiex teżisti, waqt li qed iħallina.

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KOLOMBU ĊINIŻ

Inżammet esibizzjoni ċkejkna imma interessanti fil-Parlament Ewropew il-ġimgħa l-oħra dwar il-vjaġġi lejn il-Punent tal-Ammirall Ċiniż Zheng He. Fil-bidu tas-seklu 15, telaq bi flotta ta’ vapuri minn Nanġing, il-kapitali taċ-Ċina f’dak iż-żmien, fil-lvant estrem. Qasam l-ibħra sakemm wasal fil-kosta tal-lvant tal-Afrika. Tenna l-vjaġġ xi seba’ darbiet, f’eżerċizzju ta’ navigazzjoni li sa fejn hu magħruf qatt ma sar wieħed bħalu qabel.

It-tħejjijiet għall-vjaġġi ta’ Zheng He kienu impekkabbli. Ir-riżorsi umani (fosthom xjenzati biex jistudjaw l-imkejjen fejn l-espedizzjoni waqfet) u l-materjali li ġew mobilizzati huma impressjonanti. Il-livell teknoloġiku tal-baħħara Ċiniżi kien ferm aqwa minn dawk li kważi mitt sena wara, Kristofru Kolombu seta’ jiġbor għall-espedizzjonijiet tiegħu lejn “l-Indja”.

Kurżità waħda toħroġ minn dawn l-esplorazzjonijiet ta’ Zheng He. Wara li saru, iċ-Ċiniżi donnhom iddeċidew li ma kellhomx għalfejn iżommu kuntatt mal-popli

English Version – Labour markets

The indications are that we do not have aunified labour market in Malta, with wage levels and employment conditions that impact “interactively” on each other.

Instead, the labour market is split into a number of sectors that are truly separate – so that what happens in one of them hardly affects the others. However, generally speaking, tension has been rising in all sectors due to recruitment problems, given that the unemployment rate is so low.

If I’m reading the situation well, this tension is strongest in those sectors that need digital and financial skills.Wage rates there have continued to climb. The movement of employees from job to job has accellerated.

Then there exist sectors with a relaxed and low productivity workforce, where job mobility is practically non-existent. Meanwhile other sectors are characterised by low pay, very precarious employment conditions and exploitation of immigrants.

These splits in the labour market probably account for why the average rise in the pay of workers as a whole has been relatively so low.

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Maltese ironies

Having entered the grounds of Malta airport and as you drive towards the main entrance, you can see building works hidden behind a provisional wall to the left. The wall is covered with pictures of facades of old style townhouses that you find – or used to find –in village mainstreets that lead to the square which fronts the parish church.

The photos for this wall display are really well done and as pasted one by the other, give the impression that you are viewing one side of a Maltese-style street.

A foreign tourist will see this picture just before his/her departure. It is doubtful though where he/she would understand that this is a representation of a traditional Maltese street.

We have been, and still are, actively preoccupied with how to destroy such townhouses wherever they can be found in village cores. We are replacing them with modern flats piled up on garages.

It is a Maltese irony that foreigners are made to see a traditional street when it does not exist any more, just before they leave.

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A Chinese Columbus

A small but very interesting exhibition was organized last week at theEuropean Parliament featuring the travelsto the West of the Chinese admiral Zheng He. At the beginning of the fifteenth century, he left with afleet of ships fron Nanjing, then China’s capital, well out to the east. He crossed the seas till he arrived at the eastern shores of Africa. He repeated this voyage seven times, ina navigational exploit that as far as is known, had never been achieved before.

Preparations made for Zheng He’s travels were impeccable. Impressive human resources (including scientists taken along to study the locations where the expeditions dropped anchor) and material supplies were mobilised. The technological abilities of the Chinese sailors were much more extensive than those which almost a hundred years later, Christopher Colomus could marshall for his expeditions to “India”.

There is though one curious aspect to Zheng He’s explorations. After they were carried out, the Chinese seem to have decided that they did not need maintain contact with the peoples and countries they had visited. They considered it was better to retire within the confines of their own country.