Low in themselves, the incomes of non-resident workers fled with the arrival of the new epidemic outbreak. To make the situation worse, the anti-pandemic measures, always with a sense of urgency, did not make it possible to prepare reserves to face this period, and many have not received a salary for more than a month.
The situation is not new, and it didn’t come with the pandemic either. This virus has a name, it has existed since the dawn of humanity, and it proliferates in the context of confinement. Discriminatory behavior towards non-resident workers is worrying, especially in a city that needs and demands more. On the one hand, it is entering a crucial decade for the development and diversification of its economy. None of this will be carried out without the contribution of foreign talent, which is even recognized by the Government. On the other hand, those less qualified, in abundance in Macau, are as necessary as the first, for obvious reasons, as they allow reducing operating costs for any type of company and even families. The way they are treated, rain or shine, does not give Macau a good image, and makes it less inviting to talent, and less inclusive.
Remember, for example, that DSAL proudly announced that it made thousands of jobs available – taken from TNR – so that local residents could be prioritized during this difficult period. However, thousands of these jobs remain unoccupied, as they are not jobs traditionally chosen by BIR holders, and the pay is below expectations. Tight periods affect everyone, but it is cyclical that the most affected are always those who had the least. It is important to recognize the speed of the work undertaken by the Government in the construction of financial aid packages, but these must be more inclusive, ensuring that everyone, without exception, can benefit. Macau needs these workers, and these workers need Macau. This dual need cannot serve just one.
*Executive Director of PLATAFORMA
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