Several employees working for Labour pollster Vince Marmara have complained that they have not been paid for months, even though their workload has increased dramatically over the past weeks due to the election.
Contacting The Shift following this news portal’s stories on how Marmara, a full-time university lecturer, has received some €1.2 million from State coffers primarily through direct orders during the last four years, a number of individuals contracted by him have complained they have been left without their salary for weeks.
“Since the beginning of the year, we have been begging Marmara to pay us. However, despite various promises, we still have not received a cent,” said one of the individuals providing services to Marmara.
A woman who said she is constantly being chased by Marmara to give him more work within strict deadlines described the Labour pollster as someone who fails to meet deadlines himself.
“We are chased all the time to do the necessary data work, day-in-day-out. However, when we remind him of our dues, he always tells us that we will get paid next week. But our payment never arrives.”
Contacted by The Shift, Marmara insisted that those complaining are not his “employees” but “data collectors and service providers”. He admitted that some of them have not been paid yet for their work, insisting that he had an agreement with them to pay for their work only after the elections.
“It was agreed with them that the dues for the first two months of the year would be paid by the end of the first quarter. In fact, almost all service providers have already been paid,” he insisted.
But those owed money by Marmara told The Shift that it was only following the intervention of this news portal that sent questions to Marmara that overdue payments were made.
They also insisted that it was not true that they had agreed to some sort of late payment arrangement and insisted that they had expected to be paid their dues at the end of each month, according to standards.
Marmara has been Labour’s pollster for the past years and has been publishing surveys for several years on the GWU’s weekly it-Torċa.
The pollster, who was also made a director of the National Statistics Office, with direct access to sensitive data, never explained who is paying for his surveys, which are a rather expensive exercise.
When asked who funds his work, Marmara never replied.
Last week, The Shift reported how, since 2017, Marmara received some €1.2 million in payments from State coffers through assignments handed to him by various government ministries and State agencies.
He has also been kept on a €4,251 monthly retainer at the Malta Gaming Authority for the past seven years, with no one actually knowing what work he provided to the gaming regulator.
Lately, Marmara also invested in a number of business ventures, with his companies also receiving direct orders.
It is known that Marmara also conducts personal surveys for several government ministers to measure their popularity among Labour voters in their districts. Again, it is not known who foots the bill for these polls.