Laid off pilots being offered self-employment contracts – ALPA

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Pilots union ALPA said that pilots who were laid off by Air Malta are now being offered six-month self-employment contracts with Malta Med Air.

In a statement ALPA said that it filed a judicial protest in court against Malta’s government to hold it “responsible for its actions, as well as those of its wholly-owned company, Malta Air Travel Limited which is now operating under the name ‘Malta Med Air’.”

“This, following the recruitment, under precarious conditions, of members of the Association who have recently been made redundant by Air Malta p.l.c., a company in which the Government of Malta holds over 99.9% of its shareholding capital.  Such recruitment is being conducted by Brookfield Aviation International Limited, a recruitment/placement agency registered in the UK, notwithstanding that such work force is required by ‘Malta Med Air’,” said ALPA.

The union explained that pilots, whose employment was terminated by Air Malta p.l.c. are being offered work in a self-employed capacity for a six-month period.

It described these arrangements as precarious and atypical. It said they were drawn up in an attempt at avoiding statutory guarantees available to employees proper, such as those relating to collective bargaining rights and basic employment guarantees, including annual vacation leave, sickness benefits and maternity leave.

“These tri-partite ‘fake self-employment’ arrangements also pose clear safety risks to pilots operating under such disproportionate pressure,” said ALPA.

ALPA called on the Government of Malta to honour and abide by its contractual obligation to provide the members of our Association with work within the Maltese territory under the conditions contained in the Collective Agreement currently in force, which is set to expire at the end of the year 2022.