Returning to old employment conditions will take SAA backwards - CEO

In a letter addressed to staff at SAA, interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said that if the company were to go back to those employment conditions, it would only take the company backwards and make it unsustainable.

Members of the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) and Numsa picket outside the SAA headquarters in Kempton Park on 12 October 2021. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways (SAA) has told staff that it was impossible to revert to the restructured airline's "old terms and conditions of employment" calling it "unaffordable".

In a letter addressed to staff at SAA, interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said that if the company were to go back to those employment conditions, it would only take the company backwards and make it unsustainable.

Employees affiliated to Numsa and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) staged a picket outside SAA's Kempton Park headquarters on Tuesday where they handed over a list of their demands.

In the letter seen by Eyewitness News, SAA's top management told staff that all other unions at the airline had signed a collective agreement around new employment conditions which include salary reductions and a cut in other benefits like medical aid.

But SAA also said that it would be reviewing these employment conditions and salary packages in the first quarter of 2023.

Numsa and the SA Cabin Crew Association were demanding that the state-owned company revert to the old terms and conditions that existed prior to the restructuring of the airline.

SAA insisted that these changes were implemented in line with labour legislation and were meant to make SAA more productive, competitive and efficient. But it also said that they would continue to listen to concerns raised by employees and "where necessary" they would make adjustments.

WATCH: 'Old SAA problems have been carried over into the new airline': SAA staff picket

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