Today's Labour News

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saa thumb medium95 76BL Premium reports that state-owned SA Airways (SAA) announced on Monday that it would cut 944 jobs or about 20% of its workforce to bring costs under control.  

The announcement came as the three largest unions representing airline employees have secured strike certificates and are balloting members to protest over wages.  SAA managers, who are in their own bargaining unit, have also obtained clearance for industrial action.  The unprofitable airline continues to burn R500m a month despite the efforts of its new management and directors to turn it around.  Chief financial officer Deon Fredericks said on Monday that the company had to fix its costs in order to access further funding needed for working capital.  The trade unions involved in the wage negotiations are NTM, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca).  Sacca members have already voted overwhelmingly to strike.  Should the strike go ahead, SAA will be grounded as managers, customer service agents and cabin crew down tools.  Pilots are not part of the bargaining unit.  Fredericks said that the company was still engaging with unions as "the last thing we need is a strike".  He said that in its last offer, the company offered to raise wages 5.9% but deferred the increase until the company had sufficient funding.  This was rejected.  NTM wants a 5.9% increase, while Numsa and Sacca are asking for an 8% hike.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Carol Paton at BusinessLive (paywall access only)
  • Read too, SAA restructuring to affect nearly 1,000 workers, at The Citizen

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page