The Malta Chamber has expressed its disappointed with the deal reached between the government and Air Malta pilots, saying that the decision was not reflective of industrial relations norms and practices.
69 pilots sacked by Air Malta in summer have been offered a public sector job at the equivalent take-home pay of 2018.
The pilots’ association has recently filed judicial proceedings against the government after the latter failed from honoring contractual obligations which it had entered into by means of an agreement signed by disgraced then-Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi on 26 January 2018.
The decision has already come under heavy criticism by the Malta Employers Association which noted that it contradicted any notion of equal pay for work of equal value.
The Malta Chamber warned that such a precedent would create difficulties in the future when government will be dealing with other sensitive sectors, companies and professions in society.
It noted that the agreement created an different playing field and discriminated 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 in a statement on Tuesday. It added that it did not see any valid reason why this case warrants preferential treatment.
It said that 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.
It also said that it is concerned about the cost this decision will bear on the national coffers.