Air Malta employees who opted for retirement schemes left in the lurch since November

Dozens of former Air Malta employees who took up the government’s voluntary and early retirement schemes and who saw their last day of work at the airline at the end of November have found themselves in a lurch because of orders from the Office of the Prime Minister not to register their employment termination with Jobsplus.

Speaking to The Shift, several affected former Air Malta employees who preferred to remain anonymous, considering their tenuous predicament, have complained about the fact that they are still inexplicably registered as Air Malta employees two whole months and counting since leaving the airline, after having signed up for the early or voluntary retirement schemes.

They are being prevented from finding new full-time employment or receiving unemployment benefits since they are still registered as holding full-time jobs at the national airline while no longer receiving a single cent in remuneration from Air Malta.

Lawyer and former PN MP Jason Azzopardi, who raised the issue earlier this week, points out how the law states Jobsplus needs to be informed by an employer within one month of an employee’s termination so the individual’s information can be updated accordingly on the system.

“After two months, it is about time that they are either given the last two months’ salary, or they are issued with the termination letters so they can apply for full-time jobs like everyone else,” Azzopardi said.

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, spearheading the national airline’s painful restructuring process, is a former Jobsplus chairman.

One former Air Malta employee, whose employment prospects have been in limbo because of the situation for two whole months since leaving the airline at the end of November, explained how at least 100 former colleagues found themselves in the same predicament, saying they were being treated “like cattle”.

The explanation received from the airline’s human resources department was that it was the Office of the Prime Minister that was stopping the airline from registering the employees’ termination with Jobsplus.

The General Workers Union is said to be in discussions with the government over their members’ plight.

One former employee, who had been at the airline for over two decades, was flabbergasted to learn the issue may very well have to do with how the original contract signed all those years ago had not been drawn up in accordance with the Public Administration Act, and that this is what the whole headache has been about.

The employee was “shocked” to have learned the contract they signed well over two decades ago was not in line with the Public Administration Act and that, all these years, their employment at the airline had not been entirely on the up and up.

In the meantime, the affected former employees are contacting the union and the airline’s human resources department regularly to have the issue ironed out, so they can move on, but they are getting very little by way of information from anyone about their predicament.

The case is reminiscent of the treatment meted out to the airline’s former part-time ground handling employees, who have been constrained to open legal proceedings against the government over how their employment had been unscrupulously terminated.

The Shift reported in November how a group of Air Malta’s part-time ground handling employees had been left completely in the dark about their employment status, having received no communication whatsoever from the airline about either their next shifts or their redundancies.

Adding insult to injury, when they decided to take matters into their own hands and went to confront Finance Minister Clyde Caruana about the state of affairs, he told them the decision had been taken and that they could take the matter to court if they liked.

They have now taken legal action over their predicament.

One employee who had been working in the ground handling department for eight years told The Shift at the time: “We have received neither an email nor a phone call informing us about our situation. The shifts just suddenly stopped, and we were left completely in the dark. There hasn’t even been an email to thank us for all our years of service to the company.”


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Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

That is the way Socialist Finance Minister of the Republic with the help of the GWU.
I wonder what true MLP supporters can possibly accept such a treatment to workers and Job Plus!!!!

1 month ago

But why are they complaining? Haven’t these guys taken thousands of Euro as terminal benefits paid for from our taxes? Or am I mistaken?

Last edited 1 month ago by Sergioleone
Terry Flanagan
Terry Flanagan
1 month ago
Reply to  Sergioleone

Regardless of the fact these people took redundancy settlements, you are assuming they WANTED to take the money on offer and WANTED to leave a steady job! These people could be without a job or benefits of any kind for a VERY LONG time because of politicians that couldn’t give a shit about them or their families. How long will a few thousand last then?
What a total MORON you are!

Ray Farrugia
Ray Farrugia
1 month ago

Laws are there to be flouted. That’s the only principle of the Labour Party.

1 month ago

They are always complaining.
Golden Handshakes dubious collective agreements! This is what the tax payers should be asking themselves!

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