Air Malta has yesterday signed a five-year Collective Agreement with the Association of Airline Engineers (AAE).
This is the first of five collective agreements the airline is concluding and expecting to sign with various unions representing its workforce in the coming weeks.
The collective agreement was described by the airline’s Chairman Dr Charles Mangion as a “landmark agreement”.
“Despite the company’s challenges we are making sure that we provide workers with opportunities,” Dr Mangion said.
Speaking on behalf of the negotiating team, President Emeritus Dr George Abela noted the high quality of engineers employed by Air Malta.
“This group of professionals are unique in the country,” he said, adding that company had done well to invest in them and to ensure they are a key part of its operations.
Dr Abela also expressed his satisfaction at the “new direction taken by the company since June” when it embarked on a growth strategy.
Tourism Minister Dr Konrad Mizzi, responsible for Air Malta added that the agreement will provide stability in the industrial relations for another five years in a sector that is crucial for the running of the airline.
“We have a fair deal, a deal that paves the way for a healthy working relationship that will ensure continuous improvements, new opportunities and further expansion in line with our growth strategy, ” added Dr Mizzi.
The Minister also revealed that with the new agreement signed, the airline and engineering department could now start to consider building a new hangar as well as targeting new niche markets.
AAE President Charles Azzopardi praised the agreement saying it shows Government’s commitment that engineers will form an integral part of Air Malta’s future. He added that the majority of the association’s members supported the agreement after they were assured throughout the negotiations that the sector would remain a vital part of the company’s operations.
The agreement sees the airline’s engineers get a 19% wage increase that would be spread over five years (5%, 1.5%, 5%, 1.5%, 5%).