UPDATED - The Court has upheld Air Malta's request for an injunction, filed this morning, to stop the pilots' union, ALPA, from delaying Air Malta flights, temporarily stopping the industrial action.
Air Malta flights were being delayed by 30 minutes from this morning as pilots took industrial action, following the absence of an agreement with Government, Air Malta’s major shareholder, over their retirement package.
In a statement issued this morning, the national carrier said “Whereas Air Malta acknowledges that taking industrial action is a right protected by law, such right is not unrestricted and Air Malta cannot bear the consequence of a disagreement between its employees and its shareholder,” the airline said this morning.
“Air Malta has filed an application requesting the Court to stop ALPA and its members from taking any further illegal action which is prejudicial to the Company and its rights.”
The industrial action affected today’s early morning flights to London, Rome and Amsterdam. Other flights are expected to be affected if an agreement isn’t found. The union said action was being taken because Government failed to start discussions with them on their collective agreement, signed last year. This includes their early retirement scheme which allows Air Malta pilots to retire at the age of 55 with a €700,000 package.
Government’s decision to strike a deal with Ryanair to create a new airline, Malta Air, was reportedly the final blow to the Air Malta pilots.
Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said in a tweet yesterday “Government will NOT bow to pressure and provide ridiculous guarantees on Early Retirement Schemes.”