Fl-Air Malta hemm bżonn il-kalma

 

Il-kliem iebes dwar dak li għaddej bħalissa fl-Air Malta m’huwiex jonqos. Bħalissa għaddej eżerċizzju biex jikkonvinċu l-opinjoni pubblika dwar min hu l-iżjed b’saħħtu.

Il-Gvern qed jgħid li lest li jibqa’ għaddej. Ftiehem mal-parti l-kbira tal-Unions u jistenna li jiftiehem ukoll mal-Union tal-piloti. Id-dettalji tal-ftehim kollettiv propost ma nafhomx, u safejn naf jiena m’humiex pubbliċi. L-unika ħaġa magħrufa s’issa hi dak li qal il-Prim Ministru dalgħodu li hemm proposti żidiet sostanzjali li imma huma marbuta ma tibdiliet fil-prattiċi tax-xogħol. Fuq quddiem hemm l-insistenza tal-Gvern u tal-Management tal-Air Malta li hemm ħtieġa ta’ żieda fis-siegħat tat-titjir.

Il-Gvern irid jipprova jasal. Għalhekk beda mill-Unions li kien iktar faċli li jasal magħhom u ikkonkluda ftehim ma kull waħda minnhom matul dawn il-ġimgħat. Il-Union tal-piloti l-ALPA min-naħa l-oħra żammet iebes minħabba l-posizzjoni strateġika tagħha fil-kumpanija u tittama li ssarraf din is-saħħa strateġika f’vantaġġi ikbar għall-membri tagħha. Xejn ħażin f’dan, sakemm nagħrfu li hemm limitu dettat mir-raġuni u l-etika li m’għandux jinqabeż.

Kull ftehim jinvolvi give and take. Tirbaħ xi affarijiet u ċċedi oħrajn. Nappella għaldaqstant għas-sens komun tal-partijiet li jippruvaw isibu soluzzjoni.

Apparti l-kwistjoni tal-ftehim kollettiv bħalissa jidher li qed tikber b’mod sproporzjonat tilwima oħra, separata, dwar il-mod kif ġie ittrattat wieħed mill-piloti minn uffiċjal għoli tal-kumpanija Air Malta. Dwar dan, jidher li l-piloti vvutaw biex jagħtu l-awtorità lill-Union ħalli  jibdew azzjonijiet industrijali.

Hemm bżonn daqsxejn tal-kalma. L-iżbalji jeħtieġ li jiġu msewwija imma ejja f’ġieħ is-sewwa ma nesagerawx.

Il-pajjiż għandu bżonn lill-Air Malta għax din tista’ tagħti kontribut siewi lill-ekonomija. Biex dan iseħħ hem bżonn li kulħadd jaġixxi b’mod responsabbli.

Li nikkalmaw ftit ikun pass tajjeb!

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Thank-you Ryan; thank-you, Clayton.

I was present for both public sessions of the Planning Authority Board’s meetings to discuss the planning application for a petrol station at Salini Road Magħtab.

The first meeting, on 7 December, was attended by eight members of the Board. At the meeting on the 11 January, however, an additional five members made an effort and were present. These additional five members voted in favour of the application, but they had not followed the detailed public discussion held on 7 January, as is their duty.

At the first meeting, two of the Board members publicly indicated their intention to vote against the application but, at the second meeting, both changed their mind and decided to vote in favour. However, no public explanation was forthcoming as to what caused them to change sides.

The Planning Authority Board includes two Members of Parliament: Ryan Callus (PN) and Clayton Bartolo (PL). Both of them consider it to be desirable to have more petrol stations and both voted in favour of the Magħtab Petrol Station. Ryan Callus was clearly observed raising his hand very reluctantly to vote in favour of the development application: apparently he wanted those present to note that he was not sure of what he was doing.

More worrying was Clayton Bartolo’s behaviour. He had already publicly indicated his opposition to giving the permission for the petrol station on 7 December. However, last Thursday he switched sides and voted in favour. Obviously, he had every right to vote in whichever way he chooses, but he owes the public an explanation for his change of heart. No such explanation was forthcoming.

Of the 14 members of the Planning Authority Board, 13 are regular members and the additional member is an ad hoc member representing the Local Council of the locality involved – in this case Naxxar. Eight members of the Board were present for both meetings. Five turned up only for the second meeting. The 14th member of the Board, although present for both meetings, left the room as soon as the subject of the petrol station came up for discussion on both occasions! Clearly he did not want to participate in this latest planning farce.

This is the third new petrol station to be approved by the Planning Authority in a short period of time: approval for the Magħtab petrol station came immediately after the approval of those at Marsaskala and Burmarrad in the past weeks.

Do we need so many petrol stations?

Last September, the Prime Minister announced that government would shortly carry out a consultation exercise to determine the cut-off date beyond which all new cars purchased would have to be electric or similar vehicles. This signified one thing: that soon we will start the count-down leading to no more petrol and/or diesel cars on our roads. Bearing this policy declaration by the Prime Minister leads to one inevitable question: what do we need new petrol stations for? Each new petrol station gobbles up approximately 3,000 square metres of land.

A big thank-you to Ryan and Clayton.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 14 January 2018