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Court dismisses Numsa, Sacca's urgent bid to halt SAA retrenchments

Unions Numsa and the South African Cabin Crew Association approached the Labour Court to interdict the airline from cutting jobs.

FILE: Numsa and South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) members picket at the SAA Airways Park in Kempton Park on 15 November 2019. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Labour Court has dismissed an application by two trade unions over planned job cuts at SAA.

Numsa and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) approached the court to interdict the airline from retrenching workers.

The national carrier is under business rescue in an attempt to turn things around.

While delivering his ruling on Friday morning, Judge Graham Moshoana said it was wrong for the unions to conclude that the cancellation of 11 domestic and international flights would immediately result in employee dismissals.

He also noted that SAA had not indicated any intention to start Section 189 consultations and therefore unions had no reasonable grounds to anticipate retrenchments.

The SA Cabin Crew Association’s Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said that this judgment was an injustice for workers.

"With regard to what has happened today, we as Sacca and Numsa are extremely shocked by the Labour Court's decision in this regard. They have in essence taken away the workers' right to be meaningfully engaged and consulted prior to a restructuring taking place."

The unions said that they would appeal the ruling.