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Talks begin on what's next for SAA after wage deal

SAA and trade unions, including those that enjoy minority support by workers at the state-owned airline, will meet for the first time since the company announced 944 people could lose their jobs due to the restructuring.

South African Airways plane. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - Section 189 consultations between embattled national airline South African Airways (SAA) and trade unions are set to get under way at the CCMA on Monday.

This is despite the wage agreement the company concluded with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), which postponed the consultation process to the end of January.

SAA and trade unions, including those that enjoy minority support by workers at the state-owned airline, will meet for the first time since the company announced 944 people could lose their jobs due to the restructuring.

Unionists explained to Eyewitness News that because the agreement was only reached with Numsa and Sacca following this week's strike, the talks have to go ahead to decide how to proceed.

Solidarity's Derek Mans said: “The CCMA is to pronounce whether that has an impact on the further 189 processes or not. But in short, it’s continuing for managerial positions.”

SAA stated that it needed to reduce its headcount to recoup some millions from its overburdened operational costs estimating it could save up to R300 million if 944 workers are retrenched.

The airline also announced this week that the payment of salaries will be delayed as it struggles to contain its expenses.

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