The Malta Independent 18 January 2022, Tuesday

MEA urges government to redeploy redundant Air Malta employees to private sector

Saturday, 15 January 2022, 13:55 Last update: about 2 days ago

The Malta Employers’ Association (MEA) has called on the government to redeploy the redundant Air Malta employees to the private rather than the public sector, saying that the public sector is already “over-staffed.”

On Friday, the government announced that Air Malta will be reducing its staff complement by over 400 employees, which amounts to around half of the personnel.

In a press statement published on Saturday, the MEA reacted to this announcement saying that the current situation at Air Malta is a result of “delayed action and wrong strategic decisions”, to the extent that matters have now escalated to a stage where a drastic cost-cutting exercise is the only way in which the airline can keep operating.

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana had said that as a result, the government will launch voluntary transfer schemes to achieve this goal, offering employees jobs in the public sector. The aim is to transfer around 110 to 120 employees out of the company and into other government sectors.

This action plan would save around €15 million a year for the airline.

Meanwhile, the MEA noted that it is essential that when action plans are formulated, these are implemented without to constant political interference.

Apart from the public sector being “over-staffed”, the association also highlighted that the transfer of employees to the public sector should not be considered because this will add a further €15 million to recurrent expenditure.

“This will also send a wrong message to Maltese employees that some people have special rights, where others have to queue in an unemployment line if they become redundant,” the association said.

It noted that many companies are complaining of a shortage of employees, saying that it is likely that many Air Malta staff do have the skills that are in demand.

“This will lead to a win-win situation for everyone involved,” the MEA said.

The association stated that it would be willing to participate with the government in an exercise to redeploy redundant Air Malta employees into productive employment within the private sector.

 

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