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Uncertainty surrounds retrenchments at SAA

Unions want the company to issue an official notice as stipulated by labour law.

FILE: Trade Union Solidarity says it’s unclear how many South African Airways (SAA) employees stand to be retrenched because the company has not issued an official notice as stipulated by labour legislation. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Trade Union Solidarity says it's unclear how many South African Airways (SAA) employees stand to be retrenched because the company has not issued an official notice as stipulated by labour legislation.

The airline says it's looking at ways to cut costs and turn the company around.

The measures include offering early retirement, voluntary severance packages and retrenchments.

Trade Union Solidarity's Johan Botha says they've asked SAA for more information about the process in writing.

"We await their response which we will hopefully receive this coming Wednesday."

South African Transport and Allied Workers Union's (Satawu) Vincent Masoga says workers were hoodwinked into thinking their jobs were secure.

"We do not see any form of downsizing that comes through cutting jobs as a progressive turnaround."

Meanwhile, the United Association of South Africa has called on the airline to be open and transparent when consulting with affected parties.

At the same time, the company says its labour pool has grown beyond sustainable levels in recent years, negatively impacting the financial performance of the business.

The airline's Tlali Tlali says retrenchments are a last resort.

"Retrenchments as such will be considered as an option of last resort in the event we are able to achieve the required outcomes in terms of the process I have referred to, that is retirement and severance packages"