Air Malta employees ‘betrayed’ as government reneges on its agreement

'What they promised us in writing before the election will have to be implemented. They should have done their homework, not just try to steal our vote' - senior employee

 

Hundreds of Air Malta employees feel betrayed by the government for reneging on its pre-electoral agreement to guarantee jobs for life to staff who signed up for a scheme to leave the airline, with employees telling The Shift they will insist on the agreement being respected.

Air Malta employees contacted The Shift after the news portal revealed the government was in discussions with the General Workers Union to withdraw the offer made before the general elections in March.

Close to 600 Air Malta employees signed up for the Voluntary Employment Transfer Scheme (VETS), which promised them jobs for life while retaining their current financial packages.

Now, Air Malta’s politically-appointed chairman David Curmi is dismissing the written agreement as nothing more than “a worthless piece of paper”, according to employees who attended last week’s meeting in which Curmi told staff that the scheme was no longer an option, adding that they would be offered an early retirement scheme instead. It was “take it or leave it”, employees told The Shift.

“The chairman told us that what we signed – a formal agreement with the government – was just a worthless piece of paper (biċċa karta) and that we are not good at our job. This arrogance is unacceptable,” an employee, visibly hurt, said.

The Shift is informed that the government is offering a golden handshake of between €40,000 for those with less than five years’ experience to €145,000 for those who have been on the company’s books for more than 25 years.

The packages being offered to Air Malta employees who signed up for the VETS scheme

The government also wants to force employees to remain on the airline’s books until the end of September and to “forget” the promise to be transferred to another government job by 11 August.

The minister told the union not to give in to pressure to strike, threatening that he would close the airline, sources confirmed.

So far, only a handful of employees have been given a government job. The privileged few include former PN propagandist turned Labour Karl Stagno Navarra, who has been given a cosy government job at the Occupational Health and Safety Authority despite not having a permanent contract with the airline and rarely ever seen at his place of work.

Air Malta employees are also furious at what they feel is a betrayal by the GWU, which traditionally leans towards the Labour Party in government. It seems the union is keen to avoid confrontation.

“The government has double-crossed us, and this is unacceptable. What they promised us in writing before the election will have to be implemented. They should have done their homework, not just try to steal our vote,” a senior employee at the airline said.

Earlier this year, Minister Clyde Caruana told Air Malta employees that another restructuring exercise was needed to save the airline from bankruptcy. The government would be reducing the airline’s staff by at least half.

He promised no one would end up without a job with the deadline for transfers to new government posts by 11 August.

It is unclear how the new scheme put forward by the airline’s Chair will be funded. While Air Malta has no such funds to spare due to its dire financial situation, using taxpayer money for such a scheme will breach strict EU state aid rules.

                           
                               
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makjavel
makjavel
20 days ago

The government is broke. €10,000 million in the red. As the Minister said , the Government is NOT a well without any bottom. What he did not say is that his government blew the well .

KLAUS
KLAUS
20 days ago

It seems to me that there is now too little in the Malta treasury:
too many ‘people’ have looted too much.

And these ‘people’ probably want to continue looting,
so the ‘little people’ have to tighten their belts.



KLAUS
KLAUS
20 days ago

May the Malta Government explain how this could change so negatively so quickly.

Mark
Mark
20 days ago

Dan il-ftehim jikser il-liġijiet tal-Unjoni Ewropea dwar il-competition.

Il-gvern ma jistax jintroduċi skema bħal din li tagħti State Aid lil ħaddiema ta’ kumpanija tal-ajru li qed tikkompeti f’suq ma’ mijiet ta’ linji tal-ajru oħrajn Ewropej.

Ma nafx liema qaddis kapaċi jinterċedi quddiem il-Kummissjoni Ewropea biex tapprova ħaġa bħal din.

Last edited 20 days ago by Mark
Francis Said
Francis Said
20 days ago

Well I am not surprised with this U turn.
Prior to the 2013 elections, Joseph Muscat backed by the then General Secretary of the GWU had clearly stated that Enemalta would not be privatised!!!
Well history repeats itself that spin and outright lies by this corrupt PL are the norm.

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
19 days ago
Reply to  Francis Said

And history keeps repeating itself with a population of Gahans.
As I always said, and will keep on saying (NB – Silvio Schembri), “before Malta is financially on its knees, and poverty becomes endemic and uncontrollable”, this government of crooks, looters and semi-literates, will not stop digging deeper into our empty coffers, and irreversibly increasing our National Deficit and our National Debt ratio.

carlos
19 days ago

Corrupt government of betrayals.

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