MaltaToday previous editions

MALTATODAY 14 August 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 47

2 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 14 AUGUST 2022 NEWS THE Green Party yesterday ac- cused the Labour Party of using politics as a game to advance empty promises to buy votes from Air Malta workers. ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said it was a well known fact that Labour in gov- ernment had been preparing for the distinct possibility of winding up Air Malta, even though just a few months ago its employees were guaranteed that the company would con- tinue operating, and any excess labour would be transferred to the public sector, subject to the same salary and conditions. "This guarantee cannot be im- plemented as it would create havoc in the public sector due to the large disparities in the pay structures and applicable benefits. Indeed, in the Labour Party's electoral programme we read that a process has com- menced to ensure that Air Mal- ta will remain in operation and serve its strategic objectives in line with EU regulations (p. 222). Media reports this week revealed that this was all a cha- rade and empty promises. The Labour Party does this una- shamedly," Cacopardo said. "This is a result of political cli- entelism that has been practiced without any restraint since the setting up of Air Malta. Sub- sequent strategic plans failed because there had not been the political will for Air Malta to operate without political inter- ference," Cacopardo added. Cacopardo said millions of eu- ro in 'aid' had been squandered, which effectively financed the clientelism that led to Air Mal- ta's own downfall. "This is also applicable to the substantial amounts promised to those who opt for early retirement. These sums of money are day- light robbery of the taxes we all pay. It is a squandering of pub- lic funds to make good on elec- toral promises which cannot be honoured." Cacopardo said Air Malta's state was the sheer testimony of this political clientelism that ruled Malta. "It is both the cur- rent Labour government and the Nationalist Party which are at fault too because the latter had the opportunity to fix the situation but instead opted to milk this 'cow' too. "We have now become used to governments and politicians paying lip service to the prin- ciples of good governance, but then unashamedly practicing clientelism targeting vote buy- ing. In this respect the term PLPN definitely applies because on these matters they agree wholeheartedly. PLPN are both responsible for bringing down Air Malta to its knees." Employees given empty promises during election – ADPD fer scheme was falling victim to a pincer movement of cir- cumstances: on the one hand, the post-pandemic recovery in summer tourism necessitat- ed that Air Malta retain more staff than it envisaged during these months; on the other hand, the government was hard-pressed in finding suit- able public sector and public service positions that paid the transferred Air Malta workers their same salaries. According to the same gov- ernment sources who spoke to this newspaper, the Labour administration was warned that a mismatch of salaries inside the public service was a direct invitation for indus- trial confrontation. "Placing transferred Air Malta workers in some civil service position with long-standing employees paid less than they were, was going to be problematic to the government," sources told MaltaToday. The problem was also appar- ent when both former min- isters Edward Zammit Lewis and Konrad Mizzi guaranteed Air Malta pilots a govern- ment job at their same take- home pay, should Air Malta terminate their employment. The Maltese government had to commit itself to the 2016 guarantee, for a job that lasts until 31 December 2022. The guarantee was a side letter to the collective agreement for ALPA. Air Malta workers last week voted in favour of voluntary retirement schemes, believed to cost close to €50 million for Air Malta. The VETS proposal, which was agreed upon with the General Workers Union, the Union of Cabin Crew, the Airline Engineers association, and the AAOC union, will offer €40,000 to those who have served up to five years; €80,000 to those serving 5-10 years; €120,000 for 10-15 years of service; €150,000 for 15-20 years of service; €180,000 for 20-25 years; €210,000 for 25- 30; and €240,000 for those of over 30 years of service. Air Malta staff aged 50 and over are eligible for an ear- ly retirement scheme if they have served 20 years and over, to be paid two-thirds of their total take-home pay, capped at a maximum €300,000. Finance minister Clyde Caruana (left) with Air Malta CEO David Curmi in January 2022 announcing the plan to right-size the national airline, by pushing a €15 million salary bill onto the State payroll Putting Air Malta employees on State payroll 'act of State aid' CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Air Malta severance package €40,000 to those who have served up to five years €80,000 to those who served 5-10 years €120,000 to those who served 10-15 years of service €150,000 to those who served 15-20 years of service €180,000 to those who served 20-25 years €210,000 to those who served 25-30 €240,000 for those of over 30 years of service Air Malta staff aged 50 and over are eligible for an early retirement scheme if they have served 20 years and over, to be paid two-thirds of their total take-home pay, capped at a maximum €300,000

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MALTATODAY 14 August 2022