The Malta Independent 25 May 2024, Saturday
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Pilot redundancies suspended after ALPA takes legal action

Sunday, 7 June 2020, 18:32 Last update: about 5 years ago

The redundancies of 69 Air Malta pilots have been halted by the courts of law after legal action taken by their association.

In a statement Sunday afternoon, ALPA said it filed an application containing a request for the issue of a Warrant of Prohibitory Injunction, which request was provisionally upheld by the First Hall of the Civil Court. Consequently, the redundancies and demotions forced upon the pilot community have been temporarily suspended.

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On Friday, Air Malta said it was making the pilots redundant after it said talks with the association failed.

ALPA said it wanted to set the record straight in relation to claims made by high-ranking politicians and officials over the last couple of days: In reality, the Executive Committee was approached by Air Malta to enter into discussions relating to the possibility of the association renouncing to its rights protected by certain clauses in the collective agreement currently in force, including its rights relating to the clauses regulating early retirement.

In this regard, it has been claimed that ALPA had demanded payment of the amount of €700,000 per pilot, amounting to the global figure of €73 million, in terms of the Early Retirement Scheme protected by the said Collective Agreement. Air Malta presented its costs and, after obtaining professional advice relating to the possibility of creating a Third Pillar Pension Scheme, the association agreed that the devalued global amount of €73 million was fair in the current circumstances.

Discussions in this regard were scheduled to take off prior to the untimely and unexpected show of force displayed by the company. The association said it is saddened by the persistent bad faith displayed by the management of the company, as well as by manoeuvres meant to exert pressure on the operation of the Executive Committee.

In this respect, the association said it found it particularly strange that the decision to terminate the employment of 69 pilots, as well as to demote a number of captains, was communicated to our members at 11pm on 5 June. This came barely 48 hours after ALPA was assured that redundancies were no longer on the table.

It is also peculiar that the sender of such letters, the Chief of Human Resources, James Genovese, has just recently been promoted to this position, the association said.

The association said it will continue to work hard to protect the rights, contractual and otherwise, of all its members and will not tolerate further attempts by management to undermine their conditions of employment. ALPA does not exclude the possibility of widening its membership to include other professionals, who have expressed an interest in this respect.

 

 

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