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People might lose their jobs - unions at SAA remind govt

On Tuesday, government rejected the airline’s rescue practitioners’ request for a further R10 billion.

SAA workers strike, bringing operations OR Tambo International Airport to a standstill. Picture: Numsa Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Unions representing workers at the South African Airways (SAA) have called on government to think of thousands of workers who stand to lose their jobs if the business rescue process at the state airline is not supported.

On Tuesday, government rejected the airline’s rescue practitioners’ request for a further R10 billion.

SAA was placed in voluntary business rescue in December, following a crippling strike by workers.

The National Transport Movement (NTM) said it didn’t believe SAA had officially begun its descent.

NTM president Mashudu Raphetha said the airline could still be saved.

“It is for government to support the restructuring process of SAA because all lenders and creditors are waiting to see if as unions and business rescue practitioners will come up with a restructuring organogram at SAA, which can be profitable.”

He said government must think about the workers at SAA.

“We are talking about 8,900 people that are going to starve, that’s why we are calling the government to come to its senses.”

Raphetha said their workers were not panicking yet about how their salaries would be paid come the end of the month.

“We are facing an uphill; it’s not all loss contrary to what is being reported out there in the media that SAA is being closed down and that workers are now panicking.”