Updated | Air Malta pilots to escalate industrial action

Angered pilots refuse to wear jackets and caps in protest of the lack of information regarding their expired collective agreement, but are also willing to take further steps

ALPA president Dominic Azzopardi said that the union will reconsider its actions within a fortnight
ALPA president Dominic Azzopardi said that the union will reconsider its actions within a fortnight

Members of the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) are to meet on 18 July to discuss the next steps in their industrial action.

The industrial action has been in force since Sunday, with Air Malta pilots refusing to wear their caps and jackets to work as part of a dress-down directive in protest over delays in their new collective agreement.

During a meeting this morning, ALPA members voted with 92% in favour of allowing the executive committee to proceed with any industrial action it deems necessary, including the withdrawal of services, ALPA president Dominic Azzopardi told with MaltaToday.

“We could escalate the industrial action to that level, but before that we could consider other actions, such as delaying flights, work to rule or other actions,” he said. “We have a meeting on 18 July. For the time we will keep the dress down directive, but after the 18th we will revise our actions.”

The industrial action comes after delays in the pilots’ new collective agreement with Air Malta.

 “The collective agreement expired six months ago, and we are nowhere near a new deal. The dress-down directive is intended as a sign of protest,” Azzopardi said.

Azzopardi also said the action was partly motivated by the way things were being handled over the privatisation process, lamenting the lack of information.

Similar concerns were expressed last week by Air Malta’s Works Council, which brings together all the unions at the airline.

Azzopardi added that the last piece of information given was in April, when the government signed a memorandum of understanding with Alitalia to sell a 49 % stake in Air Malta.

“We are not informed of the progress of the talks. We are being kept in the dark, and whenever the subject is raised, they tell us all there is at this stage is a memorandum of understanding,” he said.

More in National