OPM shields Stagno Navarra as Air Malta employees’ anger reaches boiling point

The Office of the Prime Minister has strangely reversed a declaration made in Parliament by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana over a ‘new’ government job given to its chief propagandist Karl Stagno Navarra.

The change of line comes in view of growing anger being expressed among ‘redundant’ Air Malta employees who are claiming discrimination, The Shift News can reveal.

According to Minister Caruana, the former Nationalist propagandist who turned to Labour in 2013 was given a new job at government entity RSSL Ltd a few weeks ago. The move formed part of the Voluntary Transfer Employment Scheme (VETS) made available for extra Air Malta employees earlier this year.

On 27 June, Minister Caruana informed Parliament that Stagno Navarra was the only Air Malta employee with a definite contract who had already been transferred into a permanent government job.

According to Caruana, Stagno Navarra was transferred permanently onto the RSSL’s books and was assigned to the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA) as communications chief.

However, following a request for his new contract by The Shift News through the Freedom of Information mechanism, the OPM, which is politically responsible for RSSL, is now stating that no contract has been signed and that Stagno Navarra is only working with the new company “on loan”.

“There is no engagement contract between RSSL and Karl Stagno Navarra. Mr Stagno Navarra has only been currently loaned from Air Malta to RSSL so as he can perform duties according to administration needs,” the OPM is now insisting, completely changing Minister Caruana’s declaration in Parliament.

Sources at Air Malta told The Shift that the OPM’s latest declaration is “difficult to understand” as Stagno Navarra’s contract with Air Malta was a three-year definite contract, and it had drawn to an end last month.

“It seems that either Minister Caruana or Robert Abela are not telling the truth. Stagno Navarra’s contract with Air Malta expired on 8 July and it does not make any sense that his job with the national airline was extended when he opted for VETS and asked to leave,” the sources said.

“This is probably a tactic being employed by the OPM to confuse things, as it knows that hundreds of other VETS applicants have uncertain futures and are very angry at Robert Abela and Clyde Caruana,” the sources insisted.

The Shift is informed that a similar Freedom of Information request was filed by the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, which was told ‘no documentation exists’ – a line regularly used by the government to block public access to information.

While Stagno Navarra, who rarely made an appearance at his place of work at the national airline, was promptly accommodated by the government by transferring him to a cosy job a few metres away from Labour’s headquarters in Hamrun, hundreds of Air Malta employees have been told by their Chairman David Curmi that the VETS agreement they signed is “just a worthless piece of paper” and that the government does not want to honour it any longer.

The Shift has revealed that while before the election, 577 Air Malta employees, mostly from the ground handling section, agreed to leave the ailing airline in return for a permanent job with the government, with their exact take home pay by next August 11, the Finance Minister has had second thoughts and wants to rescind this agreement.

Instead, Caruana is negotiating with the General Workers Union to cancel the agreement and instead given a onetime golden handshake to the employees concerned in exchange of their redundancy from Air Malta.

Accusing the Minister and their union of a “betrayal”, the affected employees are also pointing fingers at blatant discrimination, citing the ‘privileged’ way Stagno Navarra has been treated by the Labour government.

They are demanding that the government keeps to its promise and transfer all VETS applicants onto permanent government books by August 11, as promised.

On his part, Minister Caruana is insisting on redundancies and threatened that he will shut Air Malta if the involved workers contemplate striking to reclaim their rights.

Air Malta is financially on the brink of collapse due to mismanagement over the past years.

The article was updated after The Shift was informed that the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation had filed a similar FOI request for the contract that was also denied.

                           
                               
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KLAUS
KLAUS
1 day ago

Maybe instead of closing AIR-MALTA, we should consider kicking out the government.

carlos
1 day ago
Reply to  KLAUS

With 60000 not voting and another 108000 voting for other parties we will if we want to.

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 day ago
Reply to  carlos

We have to!

We have to do it for the future of our children.

Pamela Hansen
Pamela Hansen
21 hours ago
Reply to  KLAUS

Good one

Francis Said
Francis Said
17 hours ago
Reply to  KLAUS

Need a good right foot. Notwithstanding my age will gladly give a well placed kick or two!!!!😀

N Scerri
N Scerri
41 minutes ago
Reply to  KLAUS

About time.

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 day ago

How bad does it have to get before the last honest PL voter realises that he has been screwed again by ROBBER Abela and his gang?

Frans Cassar
Frans Cassar
19 hours ago
Reply to  KLAUS

The majority of PL voters will never realize that, political history tells us they never did.

Henry Pace
1 day ago

That is the price that represent Air Malta employees voted for at the last election

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 day ago

I strongly believe that we need to go to the streets. The President has failed Parliament and the Maltese citizens over the IVF bill and this Gov continues to abuse power in an unprecedented way. There is no other alternative than seeing the President out, alongside the AG over her recent issues, as well as Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi who endorsed this filthy maneuver, by engaging KSN with OHSA. If we are not going to stand up to this lot, our hopes to live in better times will disintegrate.

Mark
Mark
1 day ago

Meta l-Labour iqarraq bik ghax tkun gejja xi elezzjoni, meta partit suppost socjalista jghaddi biż-żmien jew jinganna lill-haddiem, tkompli tikkonferma li l-Partit Laburista Malti kien, ghadu u jibqa’ organizzazzjoni kriminali.

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 day ago
Reply to  Mark
Għandek raġun: 

il-PL sar organizzazzjoni mafja kriminali u jrid jiġi pprojbit u xolt.

Għandna bżonn rappreżentanti tan-nies onesti.
Bamboccu
Bamboccu
1 day ago

Imma possibbli jinkitbu dawn l artikli u ma tissemmix dik li kienet partecipi f’dan kollu.
Fejn hi l GWU.
Fejn hu Josef Bugeja dak li jaf hafna u s -Segretarju Ex Airmalta Sandro Vella?
Mur gib kien hawn Gvern Nazzjonalista li qed jaghmel dawn l affarijiet….il Bambin kieku!!

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
1 day ago

Air Malta has been on the brink of collapse, since its inception, when Wiston Abela, godfather of the Labour Zejtun thugs, used it as a treasure chest to operate the ‘jobs for votes’ scheme. This became a chronic illicit political practice, whenever general elections were due.
I, like many others, am very curious to know what lies beneath the fear to, in some way, kick Karl Stagno Navarra, out of the government’s ‘Don’t touch’ register.
Is it perhaps some sort of ransom for information he may be privy to, which may incriminate some member of Joseph Muscat’s government?

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
1 day ago

Spot on.

Mick
Mick
1 day ago

A consiglieri who has become a liability with a big mouth to boot, the Don needs to show he’s in charge…should be interesting, keep looking over your shoulder Stagno your’e not as valuable as you thought.

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
1 day ago

This is good news. 577 employees, along with their families and friends, will now have realised that the government cannot be trusted. At last, their eyes and minds will have been opened.

Francis Said
Francis Said
17 hours ago

Again the slogan: some are more equal than others, particularly if one has close connections with PL’s government and party.

Eddy
Eddy
17 hours ago

PL-transparency at his best.

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