The Malta Independent 24 September 2020, Thursday

Air Malta pilots deal not reflective of industrial relations norms and practices – Malta Chamber

Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 17:46 Last update: about 8 days ago

The Malta Chamber has expressed its disappointment at the decision taken by Government in relation to Air Malta’s redundant pilots, where they were offered a job in the public sector at the same take home pay they had in their position at Air Malta.

“The decision is not reflective of industrial relations norms and practices. Such a precedent will certainly create difficulties in the future when Government will be dealing with other sensitive sectors, companies and professions in society”, the Chamber said.

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“The agreement creates an unlevel playing field, as it discriminates between workers.  We have seen over the years across other industries, that when companies, both public or private, are faced with financial difficulties, redundancies are dealt with appropriately in line with industrial relations norms and practices, irrespective of the regrettable challenges that such an approach inevitable brings about on both the employer and the employee.”

The Malta Chamber said that it does not see any valid reason why this case warrants preferential treatment.

“The differential treatment of employment relations is unacceptable, unfair and unwarranted at any time, even more so during these trying periods.”

The Malta Chamber called for transparency on the details of the alternative employment the pilots will be engaged in, what their terms of reference will be and what they will be expected to be doing, as clearly  the assumption is that they will not be carrying out their profession as pilots in their alternative roles.

The Malta Chamber said that it is further concerned on the cost this will bear on the national coffers, at a time where substantial financial challenges are already being endured.

The Chamber are the second constituted body to criticise the government’s decision, after the Malta Employers’ Association said that it was a major industrial relations blunder.

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