The Malta Independent 11 December 2017, Monday

Air Malta and Union of Cabin Crew sign new collective agreement

Wednesday, 6 December 2017, 17:40 Last update: about 4 days ago

Air Malta and the Union of Cabin Crew today signed the new collective agreement, which will see crew members earn more money per flight whilst working more hours then they currently do.

The collective agreement, which has been under negotiation for many months, is valid for five years.

The majority of union members last week voted in favour of this agreement.

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Speaking during the signing of the agreement, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi referred to the growing partnership between Air Malta and its cabin crew. The agreement, he said, will increase flexibility, which will induce profit. Such growth will lead to the airline adding over 2,000 flights next year, he said.

Mizzi said the airline would also be able to recruit new cabin crew staff.

Air Malta chairman Charles Mangion also stated that the agreement found a balance between the employees and the company. Mangion said 71 per cent of union members were happy with the deal. "They understood the opportunities this deal offers today and in the future.  The underlying principle is this balance," he said.

"We are not talking about a company operating in a monopoly but one trying to survive in a very competitive and dynamic market," said the chairman.

Air Malta now has another three collective agreements to conclude, including one with ALPA, the airline pilots’ association, and a further two with the General Workers Union over the airline's ground handling employees.

Konrad Mizzi said all agreements need to be concluded by the end of the year.

Mangion, asked by the press as to what gains were expected on the part of the airline, in regards to higher wages and more flying hours, said that this depended on the number of flights but that at full capacity with the daily utilisation of aircraft of 14 hours, €16 million will be spent on wages and a turnover of €100 million will be made.

Union of Cabin Crew president Noel Mercieca said the agreement was worth six years hard work, throughout which the union members have come to appreciate the need for further flexibility and efficiency.

President emeritus George Abela, who is overseeing the negotiations, spoke about the need of a generational change at Air Malta. These agreements, he said, were a first step in the right direction.

Abela spoke of the improvements that are to be made with regard in-flight service on Air Malta, adding that the UCC had committed itself to be a part of the change.

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