Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Executive Officer of Ozo Group, the largest private employer on the island, issued a statement to say it is the company’s “duty and obligation” to try and safeguard each job, regardless of nationality, race or gender.
“We are eternally grateful to all our employees who have been loyal to our brand and helped us reach new heights.
“For this reason, in such difficult times, it is our duty and obligation to try and safeguard each and every job irrelevant of nationality, race or gender, because for us they are all family,” Fabio Muscat said.
Ozo Group was founded in 1996 by Mr Muscat's father, Mario Muscat, who today occupies the role of chairman.
The group specialises in the outsourcing of perosnnel across a vast array of industries, and has also launched an 'Ozo Academy,' providing training for the various industries it services.
While Mr Muscat's statement, on behalf of Ozo Group, adresses the COVID-19 outbreak, it comes off the back of public anger against Economy Minister Silvio Schembri for pointing out a third-country national employment law requiring individuals to return to their country of origin should they become unemployed. A day later, the Minister has apologised for his choice of words.
After reaching an outsourcing-management-solution deal with Wasteserv, the Group’s overall employee-count exceeds 3,000, making it the largest private employer on the island.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy and local business has already been staggering. Malta will shut its airspace as of 20th March, while restaurants, bars, cinemas and gyms have been ordered to remain, leading to businesses having to take hard decisions to ensure their survival.
“Considering the current unprecedented difficult times for the economy and our country, this is an official communication with regards to our current situation,” commented Mr Muscat in a company statement.
“This uncertain period brings along its own challenges, for each and every citizen residing and working on our islands.
“Our company’s foundations are built on our values which distinguish us and our actions. We constantly strive to conduct our business in a socially responsible and ethical manner.
“Our commitment to our clients, society and most importantly our employees remains unchanged, remaining loyal to the family values that have made it successful,” Mr Muscat said.
He added that the company has been in constant contact with local authorities regarding the pandemic, who are providing “constant support.”
“Alone we will not be able to survive, we are not an exception. We hope that the Government will intervene and assist businesses to survive this challenging period,” he stressed.
“On behalf of everyone at Ozo Group, we would like to thank all those working to safeguard our health for their tremendous work and dedication, and last but not least, I would like to publicly thank all our employees who are still reporting for duty in different locations and sites, especially those deployed at Wasteserv, Malta Public Transport and Mater Dei Hospital.”
Fabio Muscat, Ozo Group CEO