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Numsa: SAA managers still running show despite being under business rescue

The union, together with Sacca, filed papers in the Labour Court seeking to interdict the airline’s business rescue practitioners from retrenching workers.

South African Airways planes. Picture: Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Tuesday said South African Airways (SAA) managers were unlawfully participating in the running of the airline despite the company undergoing business rescue.

The union, together with the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), filed papers in the Labour Court seeking to interdict the airline’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) from retrenching workers.

SAA jobs cuts inevitable, say business rescue practitioners

Numsa said the airline’s cancellation of domestic and international flights was behind the job cuts and its members were notified of looming retrenchments.

When the BRPs took over at SAA they assumed comprehensive and unfettered powers to do whatever it took to rescue the airline - in other words, they called the shots.

Numsa said that wasn’t the case as SAA’s management told unions the wage agreement they signed at the end of their strike last year was no longer in place.

“SAA management is in charge as if there are no BRPs. They’ve already written to us to say that agreement is no longer going to be complied with. This is something that’s shocking and when we ask the BRPs if this was true, they said no,” said Numsa general-secretary Irvin Jim.

Jim said they believed there was also a secret plan underway to sell SAA at the completion of the business rescue process.