Redundant Air Malta Employees should be seconded to private sector and not redeployed in the public sector

The Malta Chamber of Commerce and the Malta Employers’ Association have both spoken out against former Air Malta personnel being redeployed into the public sector.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce praised the action plan for salvaging the national airline as “reasonable and achievable” in a statement. This was claimed to be in “stark contrast” to the “different techniques employed previously.”

“It’s also worth noting the maturity with which the unions have responded.” Without a sure, the days of carrying on unsustainable operating procedures in any state body and continuing to pour public monies into unviable business models solely to protect employment or for political convenience are long gone.

“The Malta Chamber expects that Air Malta’s dilemma will serve as a wake-up call for public entity management and the rationalisation of public expenditure that must prevail in the future.”

It advised that other state institutions should be careful not to end themselves in the same scenario by hiring more people than they needed.

“In this spirit, the Malta Chamber advises that personnel who will be laid off from Air Malta be considered for secondment to the private sector first, especially considering the current scarcity of human resources.”

“This will prevent the problem of surplus employment from being shifted to other state institutions.”

Redundant Air Malta Employees should be not redeployed in the Public Sector

According to the Malta Employers’ Association (MEA), the current situation at Air Malta is the result of delayed action and poor strategic decisions, to the point that dramatic cost-cutting measures are the only way for the airline to continue operations. The Association went on to say that it is critical that when action plans are developed, they are carried out without frequent political intervention.

The Association claimed that moving the superfluous component of Air Malta’s workforce to the public sector should not be considered since the public sector is already overstaffed and such hiring would add an additional €15 million to recurrent spending. This would also convey the incorrect message to Maltese employees, implying that certain individuals have special privileges while others must wait in an unemployment line if they become redundant. At the same time, many businesses are complaining about a labour shortage, and it is probable that many Air Malta personnel have talents that are in demand in many businesses in this tight labour market. This will result in a win-win outcome for all parties concerned.

MEA has stated that it is prepared to work with government officials to redeploy these people into meaningful jobs in the private sector.