Ryanair subsidiary Malta Air will be making 40 cabin crew members redundant as of 1 January 2021, saying that the General Workers’ Union had failed to deliver an emergency agreement which had already been agreed upon.
In a statement, Malta Air said “with deep regret” that the GWU “has failed to the deliver the Cabin Crew Emergency Agreement which was agreed by GWU and Malta Air last Thursday.”
This Emergency Agreement included modest pay cuts which will be restored over four years along with a minimum pay guarantee and a year three review.
Malta Air said that it is operating at just 10% of its capacity due to the Covid-19 situation, but is still employing 100% of its pre-Covid cabin crew headcount, “which is an untenable situation in an industry which has been devastated by Covid-19 and will take many years to recover.”
A Malta Air Spokesperson said that “without this Emergency Agreement (which was already agreed by Malta Air pilots) cabin crew job losses can no longer be avoided.”
“As a direct result of the GWU’s failure to deliver upon its agreement with Malta Air, there will be 40 cabin crew redundancies implemented and these job losses will take effect on January 1st next”, the spokesperson said.
The Malta Independent on Sunday reported two days ago on how the negotiations between the airline and the GWU were at a “crucial stage”, with cabin crew members telling this newsroom that they had been given a “take it or leave it” agreement and that the government supplement had not been paid as stated by law.
Contacted by this newsroom, the GWU’s Secretary General Josef Bugeja confirmed that recently the company had informed the union that it will either reduce salaries and allowances or it will terminate the jobs of 40 cabin crew members. Intense discussions with the airline had been ongoing since, Bugeja said.
Bugeja also confirmed that the union had been told that they had received reports from employees that they were not receiving the full government supplement – a claim which the airline completely denied.
Bugeja said that an investigation in this regard is ongoing.
In a short social media post, PN leader Bernard Grech expressed his solidarity with the 40 workers and their families, and called on the government to mobilise all the help it can for these workers.
Solidarjetà mal-40 ħaddiem tal-Malta Air u mal-familji tagħhom li propju fi żmien il-festi spiċċaw bla xogħol. Nappella lill-Gvern biex jimmobilizza l-għajnuna kollha li jista’ joffri lil dawn il-ħaddiema.