Air Malta Cabin crew suspend industrial action

Airline source said that since the start of the action, the company had lost €500,000

Talks between Air Malta’s management and the Union of Cabin Crew (UCC) have resulted in a suspension of the industrial action, for which the bill is expected to exceed €500,000, sources told MaltaToday.

The figure includes lost revenue, as well as the cost of hotels and compensation to displaced passengers who had missed connecting flights or been delay for a substantial amount of time.

When contacted by this newspaper, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said that “common sense had prevailed”.

He was now looking forward to wrapping up the pending staff collective agreements by the end of the year, again reiterating that, with progress being registered, it was imperative that the airline followed its business plan.

The industrial action came as Air Malta negotiated a new collective agreement with its cabin crew, who were reported to have been considering industrial action over disagreements with the airline. This led to four out of seven union members resigning.

When asked what progress had been made in negotiating the collective agreement, Mizzi said that there was a “strong business plan” in place, which would result in a bright future for the airline, but the cooperation of all employees was required.

“We’re unbundling our services and revenue is going up. We can make the airline work without subsidies…but by December we need to have a collective agreement in place,” he said.

In a statement today, Air Malta said that they, the Union of Cabin Crew and the General Workers Union “reached an agreement on outstanding issues” between them.

With immediate effect, all industrial actions taken by the Unions are suspended, and the airline’s operations “will return to normal”, it said.

Air Malta thanks all parties for reaching an agreement, in the best interest of “the airline, its employees, customers, and the country at large”. 

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