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SAA scrambling to secure funds for day-to-day operations

SAA has advised workers to make arrangements with their banks because it is not guaranteed that they will be paid.

FILE: South African Airways planes. Picture: Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways (SAA) is scrambling to secure funding to run day-to-day operations and also pay salaries for the month.

On day eight of the crippling strike, it is hoped that workers will accept management's latest offer, which is set to be presented to them on Friday morning.

Members of trade unions Sacca and Numsa are demanding an 8% salary increase and a halt to restructuring plans.

SAA has advised workers to make arrangements with their banks because it is not guaranteed that they will be paid.

The airline's Tlali Tlali: "The airline has yet to finalise the process of raising R2 billion in the form of working capital to fund its day-to-day operations and these extend to and include the payment of salaries. The airline remains optimistic that the issue will soon be resolved."

The South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) said it is not surprised that SAA would not be able to pay salaries on time this month amid a crippling strike.

Workers at the airline have been on strike for exactly a week now, demanding a pay hike.

It is estimated that SAA has been losing R50 million a day during the strike, which began last Friday.

They are also opposed to SAA’s restructuring plans that could result in job losses.

The embattled airline, which has tried in vain to negotiate with unions, said it continued to try to secure the required funding to meet its financial obligations.

Sacca president Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said: “This is not the first time this has happened. It happened earlier on this year. Salaries were delayed, it’s not that much of a shock and had to explain this to members and we’ve done the same this time.”

CALLING FOR FAIR SALARY OFFER

Sacca said it was taking what it called a fair salary offer back to members on Friday morning.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Sacca are demanding that the cash-strapped airline stop with its restructuring plans, which could result in job losses.

The embattled airline which has tried in vain to negotiate with unions said it continues to try to secure required funding to meet its financial obligations.

Sacca president Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said: “Once our members give us a thumbs up, the strike might be over but it’s up to the members that mandated us.”

Additional reporting by Bonga Dlulane.

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