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Labour unions prepare to present alternative plans to save SAA

In its plan, Satawu, which represents workers at SAA Technical, proposes that the airline should explore equity partnerships, which must include employee cooperatives.

Picture: @flysaa_care/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - As the government and business rescue practitioners work out a plan to save the embattled South African Airways (SAA), labour unions have also been preparing to present alternative plans to the entity.

Eyewitness News understands that the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the SA Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliate the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) have been in discussions about the various proposals, with the aim of presenting the Department of Public Enterprises and the business rescue practitioners with job-saving alternatives.

In its plan, Satawu, which represents workers at SAA Technical, proposes that the airline should explore equity partnerships, which must include employee cooperatives.

The unions are running against the clock to save jobs at the entity after business rescue practitioners, who, in an effort to clamp down on expenses, decided to cancel all SAA domestic routes with the exception of Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The Satawu plan, which was tabled at the African National Congress (ANC) national committee meeting on Monday by Cosatu, also suggests that SAA Technical should be a state-owned company, independent of the airline and offer its services to a wide variety of clients.

Meanwhile, Numsa and SACCA, which launched their alternative strategy in December and have been in a Labour Court battle with the business rescue practitioners, maintain that the airline can be rescued without resorting to job cuts.

Eyewitness News understands that the meeting will be held with the Department of Public Enterprises and business rescue practitioners this week to consider labour’s inputs.