Air Malta has bashed the pilots union ALPA’s “appalling attempted display of force” during COVID-19 pay-cut discussions, dismissing concerns raising by a European Pilots body.
The national airline’s aggressive statement came after European association representing pilots wrote to Prime Minister Robert Abela and Economy Minister Silvio Schembri expressing their concerns over the decision to axe 108 pilots after they refused to take a €1,200 monthly pay.
“It would have been better if ALPA sat around the table with the company first to discuss the financial implications of the pandemic on the Airline. ALPA repeatedly dismissed offers from the airline to reach an agreement, that would have been sustainable and would have safeguarded the employment of its members.”
“ALPA’s attempted display of force, seeking to leverage the company into paying pilots more than other employees in a time of virtually zero revenues is appalling. During times of crisis, it comes without saying that all stakeholders should be cooperating to safeguard the survival and long-term viability of the airline, not personal interest.”
“It is ironic that ALPA is now making comparisons with pilots employed with other European airlines when in the past the union refuted such comparisons when the company had proposed similar conditions which were more at par with the industry norms.”
“Pilots should not feel entitled to be paid more than other employees, in a situation where its members are at home with absolutely no work and the company is facing economic hardship.”
“The airline’s primary interest is to ensure that it safeguards its longterm viability and that its operations are not compromised,” Air Malta said in a statement.
The issue erupted after mass redundancies were put in place after flights were effectively shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This came after pilots reportedly rejected a €1,200 per month pay.
However, MaltaToday has revealed that Air Malta’s pilots were promised in 2016 that they would keep their salaries if they were forced into redundancy.
Meanwhile, there are more issues with the airline’s cabin crew. The Trade union federation FORUM has also had to step in airline’s decision to effectively ignore a previously agreed a €1,200 pay with the staff.