Johannesburg – The South African Airways (SAA) has assured customers that business will continue unhindered despite its workers embarking on a protest.
Union members picketed South Africa’s recently resuscitated national airline on Tuesday, complaining about working conditions, less than three weeks after the carrier resumed flights following bankruptcy proceedings.
Staff and unionists protested outside the airline’s offices in Johannesburg.
“So many of the old SAA’s problems have been carried over into the new airline,” said a joint statement by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association.
The unions claimed that workers placed on a “training layoff scheme” were not re-hired, while others had their salaries and employment benefits cut.
But in a statement, the airline said it had consulted with all stakeholders, including staff associations and that it was confident that all new agreements reached with parties either in a collective or individual capacity were negotiated fairly and equitably.
SAA Management says while it recognises and respects the rights of people to protest, the carrier is not able to revert to prior agreements reached before business rescue. #sabcnews #SAA pic.twitter.com/UctTPKDRHY
— Naledi Ngcobo (@NalediJ) October 12, 2021
“While SAA recognises and respects the rights of people to protest, the carrier is not able to revert to prior agreements reached before business rescue,” read part of the statement.
The carrier said that its CEO Thomas Kgokolo had “spent a lot of time with staffing groups prior to restart and recognises the hard work and dedication that cabin crew members have shown in the meantime leading to the carrier’s relaunch…”.
SAA said it looked forward to strengthening its relationship with South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and that it was always open to constructive dialogue.
Meanwhile, according to EWN, Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said that many of the problems that plagued the old version of the airline had simply been carried over to the new guard.
Picture: Getty Images