Pilots file judicial protest against Air Malta and government on pilot redundancies

ALPA files judicial protest against Air Malta and government for claimed 'illegalities' in pilot redundancies and demotion of captains

The pilots’ union has filed a judicial protest against Air Malta and the government for what is says are illegalities in the redundancies of pilots and the demotion of captains
The pilots’ union has filed a judicial protest against Air Malta and the government for what is says are illegalities in the redundancies of pilots and the demotion of captains

The pilots’ union has filed a judicial protest against Air Malta and the government for what is claims were illegalities in the airline’s decision to terminate the employment of 69 pilots and demote 31 captains to first officers.

ALPA said it was also formally calling on the government to honour the contractual obligations arising from agreements which had been entered into between the union and former tourism ministers Konrad Mizzi and Edward Zammit Lewis.

The union said that that agreements had given its members job guarantees in Malta and provided them with assurances that their conditions of employment would be preserved until the signing of a new collective agreement.

“ALPA-Malta is disappointed that the government of Malta had opted not to participate in the discussions preceding the termination of employment of our members, despite various requests by the Association to this effect,” the union said on Monday.

“It is also unfortunate that a cluster of individuals at the higher tiers of the management of the company, hand-picked by the current administration, have opted to trample on workers’ rights and conditions of employment. “

The union insisted that the government was “well aware of the fact that ALPA-Malta has persistently reaffirmed its intention to do its utmost to contribute to the growth of the local aviation sector.”

“It is, therefore, disheartening that such irregularities have necessitated direct action against the government in order for our members’ legal and contractual rights to be respected,” ALPA added.

In June, the court partially upheld a request for an injunction against Air Malta filed by ALPA. The union had wanted to stop the redundancies of the 69 pilots and the demotion of others as the national carrier seeks to mitigate losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The judge had ruled that the request for the injunction was to be upheld with regards to demotions, but not for the redundancies. The court said that a company that had fallen on hard times financially had the right to terminate jobs as long as it followed the basic principles of industrial relations.

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