ALPA ‘surprised’ with Air Malta’s decision to lay-off 69 pilots

The Association says Air Malta's claims are unfounded and intended to cover up the true state of affairs.

Photo: Facebook/Airmalta

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Air Malta’s decision to proceed with the redundancies of 69 of its pilots comes as a complete surprise says the Association representing Air Malta’s pilots, ALPA, in a statement.

On Saturday Air Malta made 69 pilots redundant after talks failed between the national airline and the union representing the pilots. The airline said that it was unable to meet their “unreasonable demands”.

Air Malta said that while other unions representing other members of its workforce had understood the need to accept changes required to safeguard their livelihood, the pilots’ union had “refused” to do so.

ALPA has strongly refuted the allegations contained in Air Malta’s latest communication as unfounded and as intended to cover up the true state of affairs.

The Association explained that a new set of discussions were initiated early last week at the behest of the company, following the assurance provided by the company’ Chairman, Charles Mangion, to the effect that no jobs would be shed as long as such negotiations were underway.

ALPA said that such commitment was made following receipt of positive comments by both Mangion, as well as by the Minister for the Economy Silvio Schembri.

During the last meeting held on 2nd June, the Association was also informed that it would be notified with dates for follow-up meetings in order to continue discussions.

“The company’s decision to proceed with the contemplated redundancies underlines the use of the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to do away with the current conditions of employment for its workers, whilst, on the other hand, ensuring that excessively generous packages for those in the higher tiers of the company’s management are retained” – stated ALPA.

The Executive Committee of the Association mentioned the company has refused to provide feedback with regards to the Association’s proposed 50% pay-cut across the board throughout the duration of the pandemic.

ALPA said that a number of feasible proposals, as well as significant cost-cutting measures, were put forward by the Association in an attempt to strengthen the economic setup of the company.

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