This weekend, the government of Malta and the pilots union (ALPA) failed to reach an agreement on, among other things, the future of Air Malta pilots’ work conditions.
The failure came after ALPA alleged that one of their members had been intimidated while the government said that a small group of employees was causing “irreparable” damage by refusing what they saw as a reasonable offer.
With over 90% of pilots voting in favour of beginning industrial actions, the pilots’ dispute had officially reached open conflict territory.
And just as there were two emotionally charged sides in the negotiations – Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he wouldn’t allow the “government to be backed into any corners” – there were also two sets of reactions to this news.
There were those who supported the pilots
And those who supported the government
And a good number of (probably overdue) discussions were started as a result
Air Malta has since issued a statement saying that Air Malta services will be operating normally.
With the high possibility that the pilot union will soon declare a set of industrial actions, and the government already moving resources around in preparation of a coming restructure, 2018 may be the year that Air Malta as we know it ends.
Whether it is for the better or for the worse remains to be seen.