Pilots’ union protests against precarious work conditions at Malta Med Air

The Airline Pilots Association files a judicial protest against Malta Med Air, a government-owned airline, over what it claims are precarious employment conditions offered to pilots

Malta Med Air's maiden flight was to Warsaw earlier this month
Malta Med Air's maiden flight was to Warsaw earlier this month

Pilots made redundant by Air Malta are being offered six-month contracts on a self-employed basis by another government-owned airline Malta Med Air, their union has protested.

The pilots are being recruited with precarious conditions, the Airline Pilots Association said in a judicial protest filed on Thursday against Malta Air Travel Ltd.

The company was set up by the government two years ago to take possession of the airport slots previously owned by Air Malta. The company has an air operating certificate and only recently flew its first aircraft under the brand name Malta Med Air.

ALPA said the recruitment of pilots by Malta Med Air was being done by a UK-based placement agency, Brookfield Aviation International Ltd.

The union said the company recruited pilots who were recently made redundant by the national carrier Air Malta and offered six-month self-employed contracts.

“These precarious atypical employment arrangements have been conjured 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 ‘fake self-employment’ arrangements also pose clear safety risks to pilots operating under such disproportionate pressure,” the union said.

The European Cockpit Association has voiced its concerns over these arrangements and has called on the Maltese government to desist from pursuing this course of action.

ALPA has also asked the government to abide by its contractual obligation to provide ALPA members work within the Maltese territory under the conditions contained in the Air Malta collective agreement, which is set to expire at the end of next year.

ALPA has given formal notice of its intention to take the necessary measures in order to safeguard its members’ contractual rights.

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