Edrian Elemento, Percival Mapano and Marvin Jay Egot, three of the 29 overseas workers working at the Manildra site in Bomaderry.THREE of the 16 Filipino workers employed by Taiwanese company Chia Tung to build a pellet feed mill on the Manildra site in Bomaderry said they would do it again.
“But next time it will be better,” said Marvin Jay Egot.
Together with Edrian Elemento, Mr Egot is from Davao City on the island of Mindanao.
Mr Egot came to Australia to make enough money to buy a house back home so he could marry.
Mr Elemento is sending his money home to help his parents look after his seven siblings.
“I am the oldest child, so I work to help my family. I also want to make enough money to make my dream come true of one day having my own family.”
Percival Mapano is from Manila, the capital of The Philippines on the northern island of Luzon.
“I have four children of my own, and although it is a great sacrifice being away from my family, I am working for their future.”
All three are metal workers. Mr Elemento has only been here for three weeks, Mr Egot for two months, and Mr Mapano arrived at the end of August last year. They all occasionally phone home to keep in touch with their families.
Despite the reductions made to their pay, leaving them only 26 per cent of the total salary, they still make more than they would in The Philippines. All three signed up for a one-year contract, and if allowed will see it through.
Mr Elemento said he was sad the company took so much out of his salary, but was happy working in Australia.
“The Australian workers at Manildra are friendly and supportive,” he said.
Mr Mapano said they worked up to seven days a week.
“Sometimes we get a ‘vacation day’,” he said.
“That is when we do any shopping we need, and clean up the house. Sometimes, if we have the time, we’ll even go to the beach.”
Mr Elemento said all the workers had become friends, and he thought most of them would come back for more work if it was offered.
“But I would make sure it was under different conditions. Working in Australia makes me feel good, but working for Chia Tung makes me feel bad.”
Mr Egot said he just wanted to be treated fairly, like Australian workers.
“I am sorry it turned out this way, but next time it will be better,” he said.
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