The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) welcomed the Labour Court’s ruling passed on Friday that the retrenchment process by South African Airways (SAA) is unfair.
The Labour Court said that SAA and its business rescue practitioners (BRPs) did not follow the correct procedures in giving out Section 189 notices without producing a business rescue plan. They have been instructed to withdraw the notices. SAA and the BRPs will still be allowed to offer, and employees to accept, any offer of voluntary retrenchment.
The unions said in a joint statement, “We welcome the judgment, this basically means that we have been vindicated. The court is re-affirming that the Business Rescue Practitioners cannot retrench workers without a business rescue plan. Furthermore, as NUMSA and SACCA we have exposed the true motives of the BRPs. We have said in our court papers that the proposal by the BRPs of a winding down of SAA, without even producing a draft business rescue plan, is nothing more than an extended gravy train for the BRPs and their advisors. They will strip the airline of its assets and continue to loot taxpayer money at the expense of workers at SAA.”
The unions say they are working on a turnaround strategy for SAA.