WT Global replies to report that took a deep dive into company accounts

WT Global reacts to MaltaToday report on its accounts

WT Global reacts to MaltaToday's report that took a deep dive into the company's accounts
WT Global reacts to MaltaToday's report that took a deep dive into the company's accounts

The following is a verbatim reaction received from WT Global Ltd to the article ‘Revealed: Malta's largest cab supplier’s murky accounts

WT Global welcomes any fair scrutiny as it is proud to have been an innovative disruptor in the transport sector in Malta after this remained stagnant and milked local consumers by charging higher prices for many years. One would hope that your newspaper will now also examine the operations of legacy providers who have benefited from lack of nimble competition for many years. 

There is hardly anything “revealing” in your article since it is based on the company's published accounts. Rather, the one sided and limited analysis it offers points at either an amateurish review or an ulterior agenda to the article.

We will first reply to the specific points which you mention.  

- This might be the first time that a company is attacked for being well managed. Nevertheless, the article makes a number of wrong assumptions, which includes that cost of sales are the only costs incurred, with no attention to indirect costs which went up by 25% in parallel with sales growth. 

- The article takes WT Global in isolation without adequate notice to it relations with sister companies in the group which supply most of the labour force. This omission leads to a series of wrong conclusions, including on wages paid.  

- The group employs more than 700 employees and one can rest assured that if the inaccurate wage levels you quote were correct, we would not only be in breach of law, but it would be impossible for us to retain any member of our workforce given the competitive and challenging labour market environment in Malta.  

- We are proud that not only we manage to retain most of our employees, but we currently have a waiting list of around 500 individuals working for other providers and who have registered an interest to work with us.  We are sure that this is because of the reputation we enjoy amongst third country nationals of being a group that embraces cultural diversity, trust, fairness, professional development, and compensation. That might also be driven by the fact that the owner is a third country national himself that has made Malta his home. 

- The impression that any of our companies pays below statutory wages is totally unfounded.  Our pay scales are all in line with Maltese legislation.  

- Your reading of our Fuel Policy also shows lack of information or that you have been misinformed.  This policy is a key issue for our employees as it ensures that they have a sufficient cash flow and never run out of pocket to assure business continuity. Your article wrongly extrapolates one single payslip without taking in consideration the periodic business fluctuations. 

- The group is committed to Malta in the long term. A clear sign of this is that contrary to many players in the industry, it has embarked on a significant asset investment strategy.  Amongst other things, the group owns rather than rents its fleet. 

- The group is fully tax compliant and has the necessary clearance certifications by competent authorities. Given the increase in revenues, it is normal that authorities take more interest in particular subjects and we are fully cooperative and confident in this process. 

- The group is fully committed to comply with existing and forthcoming legislative updates in the transport sector.  The fact that you quote an interview by a sector representative and then try to attribute the term “non-compliant” to us is not only misleading (since the interview did not in any way mention the group) but also totally incorrect. In fact, we have an in-house team dedicated exclusively to compliance with such legislation.

Finally, apart from the inaccuracies we pointed out above, there is a more serious issue that needs to be pointed out in your article. This is the clear dog whistle approach. It is reminiscent of recent media stories involving other unrelated individuals, trying to depict the owner as an irresponsible foreigner trying to take an unfair advantage in a sector and running a shady business, while living the good life. 

The owner is grateful of having received refugee status in Malta after he fled war in Libya in 2011. He has a clean criminal record and has always paid his taxes in full as a local business, without any reduction. He has built a successful business despite regular racial abuse by a minority. On the other hand, he has found an open heart and door by most Maltese and does his best to support fellow Maltese and foreigners in the country. 

It is quite disappointing that a newspaper whose editorial policy is usually one of the most progressive in the country, has lent itself to play into such deplorable narrative that only fuels stereotypes.

Editorial note: WT Global was given the opportunity to reply to each of the pertinent observations made before the article was published but regrettably the company chose to ignore the questions sent to it by MaltaToday. This newspaper rejects the spurious suggestion that its reporting was in anyway motivated by racial considerations. MaltaToday has consistently embraced diversity and taken a stand against racist and xenophobic behaviour from wherever it may come. The reporting was a deep dive into the accounts of the largest cab supplier and its rapid growth over the past couple of years. The cab market has been at the centre of public controversy for some time and thus the exercise was wholly justified from a public interest perspective.