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!

L-istrike tal-piloti tal-Air Malta

air malta branding

Il-piloti tal-Air Malta m’għadx għandhom fiduċja fil-management kurrenti tal-Air Malta. Dan intqal mill-ALPA (Airline Pilots Association) wara li l-Air Malta permezz ta’ talba għall-ħruġ ta’ mandat ta’ inibizzjoni waqqfet (għal issa) l-possibilità ta’ strike mill-piloti tal-Air Malta.

It-theddida ta’ istrike hi assoċjata mad-dewmien fil-konklużjoni ta’ negozjati dwar ftehim kollettiv ġdid għax il-ftehim kollettiv il-qadim skada xi xhur ilu.

Id-dritt tal-istrike hu arma qawwija u l-konsegwenzi jistgħu jkunu sostanzjali tant li bosta jsostnu li għandu jintuża biss meta jkunu ġew ippruvati bla suċċess l-alternattivi kollha biex tinstab soluzzjoni.

Issa l-Air Malta hi miżgħuda bil-problemi, bosta minnhom, kif tgħid l-ALPA huma problemi li ġew ikkawżati mill-management tal-kumpanija tul is-snin. Dan dejjem sar bil-kunsens tal-Gvern tal-ġurnata li bid-Diretturi li jaħtar dejjem kellu u għad għandu kontroll assolut (s’issa) fuq dak li jsir fil-kumpanija. [Tista’ per eżempju taqra  dak li kien kiteb xi snin ilu Michael Mallia li kien Direttur tal-Air Malta.]

Tul l-aħħar snin il-problemi tal-Air Malta, għalkemm naqsu, għadhom hemm. Għalhekk għaddejjin negozjati mal-Alitalia/Etihad Airways li dwarhom jidher li l-Unions ftit li xejn għandhom informazzjoni s’issa.

X’ser jiġri mal-Alitalia/Etihad Airways ftit nista’ ngħid ħlief dak li hu ovvju: li probabbilment jonqsu l-impieg mal-Air Malta. Hi pinnola morra li l-Gvern ta’ Joseph Muscat bla dubju jipprova jtaffi l-effett tagħha bl-istess mod li l-Gvern ta’ Gonzi mexa mat-Tarżna.

Dawn huma t-toroq rejali tal-Air Malta. Azzjoni industrijali issa kull ma tagħmel tkun li tagħti tefa l-isfel lill-futur li hu diġa imċajpar. Għalkemm hu l-mument tal-prudenza, dan ma jfissirx dgħjufija. Għax f’dan il-mument is-saħħa tal-istrike ma tagħmel ġid lil ħadd. La lill-Air Malta, la lil pajjiż u l-anqas lil piloti!

Some memories of my father

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It is now four weeks since he passed away in the early hours of 11 June. Yet I still find myself dialling his telephone number at least twice a day to exchange some news or to ask for his opinion or advice on some matter.

Three months short of his 85th birthday, he had retired from the civil service 25 years ago after a continuous public service spanning over 40 years. I do remember most of his postings, in particular those at the Customs and the then Water Works Department. He was dedicated to his duties at the Department of Social Services where he spent more than twenty years of his public service.

He was an only child as his elder sister had died at birth. At the tender age of six he was already an orphan when he lost his father who worked as a linotype operator at the government printing press. It was in 1937, two years before the outbreak of World War II. Without a breadwinner at home and inexistent social services life was miserable.

My father was not into politics. He was of the opinion that it would have been much better had I followed in his footsteps! He told me as much in very forceful language many times, in particular on the morrow of Black Monday in October 1979 when standing in the timber balcony of our home in St Paul Street Valletta we could still observe smoke coming out from the gutted Progress Press, home to The Times and The Sunday Times for many years.

He was a civil servant of the old school who took much pride in his work. As a young boy I could observe this at close quarters whenever he took me along. As an account keeper at the Water Works Department in the 1960s he would patiently listen to and address complaints on “errors” in water and electricity bills. Later in the 1980s, he would apply his skills as a welfare officer in the different area offices of the Department of Social Services assisting the elderly and vulnerable who sought the assistance of the state.

In 1977, after taking part in a sympathy strike called by the UĦM in solidarity with bank employees he was transferred to the Bormla Area Office of the Department of Social Services. It was certainly not intended to be a pleasant experience. In fact, he used to recount how in the first weeks after his being transferred to the Bormla Social Services Area Office, various officials of the local Labour Party Club used to turn up at the office “to check” on the progress of the new welfare officer! Subsequently he was transferred to other Area Offices.

My father spent his last weeks in palliative care at the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre where he was much impressed by the dedicated service of all members of staff, without exception. My family is grateful to them all as their care and dedication ensured that his last days were bearable right to the very end. May he rest in peace.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 10 July 2016