Talks with unions over Air Malta worker transfers concluded, agreement reached

Last Updated on Thursday, 3 February, 2022 at 12:32 pm by Andre Camilleri

Talks with the General Workers Union and other representatives of different workers within Air Malta have concluded and an agreement has been reached on the employment conditions for those workers who apply for a transfer out of the national airline, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said on Thursday.

Asked by The Malta Independent for an update about the status of workers at Air Malta – where over 400 workers had been asked to apply for a voluntary transfer out of the airline, as it goes on a last-ditch cost-cutting exercise – Caruana said that the final talks between the ministry and unions were held on Wednesday and that an agreement had been reached.

“Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, the General Workers Union [which represents the bulk of the workforce affected by these cost-cuts] will be explaining the agreement which was reached to its members,” Caruana said.

He said that from next week therefore he is expecting the number of employees who have applied for the voluntary transfer – where they would be employed somewhere else in the public sector – will substantially increase.

Workers have been given until Friday 11 February to apply, Caruana said, and the final number of those who apply will be announced to the media afterwards.

Asked by this newsroom about whether there has been any progress with regards to Air Malta’s application to receive state aid, Caruana said that discussions are still ongoing with the European Commission – with the most recent set of talks happening last Monday.

He said that because the talks are still ongoing, he cannot confirm the amount of state aid which the government will be able to provide – mainly because the Commission is still working this amount out.

“However, Air Malta’s future does not depend on how much state aid we can give.  It depends on how seriously we can work – as we are doing already through the measures we have taken,” Caruana said.

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