A deal reached between the government and dismissed Air Malta pilots does not reflect industrial relations norms and will create difficulties in the future, the Malta Chamber has warned.

Sixty-nine pilots sacked by Air Malta in summer have been offered a public sector job at the equivalent take-home pay of 2018, according to a letter sent to them by the Economy Ministry. 

In a statement, the chamber said the agreement creates an uneven playing field, as it discriminates between workers.

“We have seen over the years across other industries, that when companies, both public or private, are faced with financial difficulties, redundancies are dealt with appropriately in line with industrial relations norms and practices, irrespective of the regrettable challenges that such an approach brings about on both the employer and the employee.”

The chamber said it does not see any valid reason why this case warrants preferential treatment.

It said that the differential treatment of employment relations is unacceptable, unfair and unwarranted at any time, even more so during such trying periods.

It called for transparency on the details of the alternative employment the pilots will be engaged in, their terms of reference and what they will be expected to be doing.

The assumption was that they will not be carrying out their profession as pilots in their alternative roles, the chamber said.

It said it was further concerned about the cost this will bear on the national coffers, at a time where substantial financial challenges are already being endured.


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