Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
The National Airline Air Malta, has justified its reasons for seeking recompense from the airline union ALPA, saying this is a normal procedure continuing the established injunction against them.
In a statement, Air Malta said, ‘ALPA is very well aware that these proceedings are a continuation of the injunction proceedings which must be followed by proceedings on the merits of the claim.’
They add that they had repeatedly said that they would not put up with abuse or threats and it would continue fight for its interests.
They stressed that, ‘ALPA, like any other, is accountable for its actions.’
Air Malta’s response comes after the union representing the airline’s pilots, called the legal action against them and their members an attack on their freedom. ALPA said it would be subsequently be carrying out at an Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss the next steps, legal in this case.
The feud between the airline and the union stems from industrial action which took place in June, causing 30 minute delays on European outbound flights from Malta International Airport. The action had been called after the union found that negotiations to retain pilot’s healthcare package within their collective agreement, were floundering. This was also in addition to threats and intimidation felt by the airline’s pilots by key figures in Air Malta’s management.
The action had been called off after the airline sought an injunction from the courts. This was upheld.
Air Malta has fervently denied that the talks had been about the collective agreement and rather about a fight to obtain a handsome early retirement package of €700,000 per pilot, should the airline go under.
Air Malta said that, ‘The airline cannot be made to suffer financial consequences as a result of illegal actions, which actions were taken due to circumstances which it does not have control of.’