Government refuses to disclose KM Malta pilots and cabin crew contracts

Aqra bil-Malti.

The contracts KM Malta Airlines signed with pilots and cabin crew are to remain a secret as the government has refused a Freedom of Information request for transparency.

The reply refusing to disclose the information referred to “commercial interests” and “data protection”. The government went further, saying the salary criteria are not considered to fall under the definition of ’a document’ as provided in Article 2 of Cap. 496.

The Shift has been contesting Freedom of Information denials that led to court judgements saying the government’s definition of “a document” did not apply.

The government has completely ignored the court’s rulings, and different ministries have kept giving the same reply. And this was after the ministry asked for an extension to provide answers to questions.

The Shift asked for all KM Malta Airlines and government contracts with pilots and cabin crew working for KM Malta Airlines, including but not limited to employment contracts.

The Shift also asked for the disclosure of the salary criteria for KM Malta Airlines employees.

Meanwhile, KM Malta Airlines, wholly owned by the government, has not recognised any unions that used to represent Air Malta employees, and no collective agreement exists.

The Shift reported that Air Malta pilots and crew moved to the ‘new’ airline on the condition that they signed legal waivers prohibiting them from seeking legal action to claim their rights.

The waivers were signed alongside new employment contracts with KM Malta, introducing different working conditions to those at Air Malta.

The move has been shrouded in a wall of silence from all concerned, as questions have been raised about the new airline’s operations.

Pilots and cabin crew who worked with the now-shuttered airline could apply for work at the new airline under different conditions, as contracts would not be automatically transferred.

These agreements would require them to renounce existing legal cases, accept settlement offers, and sign legal waivers, preventing them from suing the former and new airline.

A secret side agreement signed by the pilots in 2018 was a sticking point in the case. The agreement granted the pilots ‘job guarantees’ by the government under the same conditions they enjoyed at the time.

Konrad Mizzi’s side letter with pilots.

A number of Air Malta pilots dropped out of an ongoing court case against Prime Minister Robert Abela days ahead of the airline’s final flight, indicating out-of-court settlements have been reached.

It means more taxpayer money was dished out to implement a secret agreement reached with former minister Konrad Mizzi and Robert Abela, who acted as the government’s lawyer at the time.

                           

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Robert
Robert
22 days ago

Equivalent or better! Always paid from our taxes!

Char
Char
21 days ago

Ex- Air Malta pilots signed new fixed term employment contracts with KM MA from 1 to 4 years. A parallel agreement was signed by the same pilots giving them generous lump sums of up to 1 Million EUR each tax free. The lump sum was calculated on the amount of years in service with Air Malta plc and years until their planned early retirement to 55. The youngest ,longest employed pilots with Air Malta plc will be taking the biggest sums. A third agreement was also signed waiving and contractual disputes with Air Malta plc.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
21 days ago

Where is the GWU when you want it.

Dunalf@yahoo.com
Dunalf@yahoo.com
21 days ago

Well well well what a political social workers party.divide and rule.Can.t the Eu insist on seeing the contracts?i dont think i would travel on this airline anymore not knowing what the pilots etc state of mind is.Would you?

S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
21 days ago

The government has become a secretive organization hiding secrets everywhere with dire consequences to the residents of these islands costing them millions.

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