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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Will Blue Panorama transfer work contracts to Malta?

Strong employee concerns

In a meeting of last October 4 between employees and the top of the Blue Panorama airline, the company -through the newly established Adica union- proposed to open a second operational base in Malta. The company's goal -according to union sources- would be to move labor contracts to Malta, thus circumventing the discussions and negotiations under way with Italian unions because they would be subject to Maltese laws (in exchange or higher pay?). The new property, which is part of the Uvet Group, seems to want to take a similar path to the previous one of Ryanair, trying to reduce the guarantees for employees and at the same time increase financial income. This would be possible because Maltese taxation is decidedly more favorable than the Italian one, but certainly it would create problems for the pension contributions that would be paid to Malta.

Certainly it is a choice at least in contrast with the general trend of carriers operating in Italy that are beginning to guarantee collective labor contracts based on Italian law for employees based in the Peninsula. Among other things, EU commissioners at Work Marianne Thyssen and Transportation Violeta Bulc referring to Ryanair recalled in an interview that the "applicable rule is determined by the State in which the worker is based".

It is not yet known whether any displacement to Malta will entail an obligation for workers to move to the island (under penalty of dismissal?), a little on the false line of Ryanair's threats to transfer planes and seats from Ireland to Poland. The situation of Blue Panorama is in some ways similar to that of the Irish low-cost so that the Italian unions have announced to be in "early warning" and ready to strike again if "will continue to ignore the reminders to start a comparison to define a new employment contract and the industrial plan". It would be interesting to know what is the position of the ENAC (Italian Civil Aviation Authority) to the eventuality of a transfer to Malta of Blue Panorama.

M/A - 1215083

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