The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) says it is prepared to accept the voluntary severance packages offered as part of South African Airway’s (SAA) business rescue and restructuring process.
The Department of Public Enterprises announced on Thursday that four unions and staff representatives have approached it, expressing their readiness to sign the voluntary severance packages offer.
Other unions which have opted to accept the voluntary severance packages include the National Transport Movement (NTM), the Aviation Union of Southern Africa (AUSA), Solidarity, and representatives of the SAA non-unionized managers and ground staff.
Deputy General Secretary of Satawu Anele Kiet says accepting the voluntary severance packages is in the best interest of their members.
“We strongly believe that this benefit to our members against liquidation process. We are quite aware that there’s a social plan that will be given to our members where they will be re-skilled according to the needs of the new airline that will be created so that they can be reintegrated to the new airline as and when the position becomes available.”
Numsa, Sacca deadlock
On Monday, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) said they have reached a deadlock with the Department of Public Enterprises when it comes to saving SAA.
Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim says they are facing a crisis in their bid to turn around the fortunes of the airline.
“We think that it is time to put the record straight because we think that it is important for the public and everybody to know that we have reached a deadlock with Minister Pravin Gordhan about how we must go about to save this airline.”
The union was upset about the Public Enterprises Department’s decision to pull out from the Leadership Consultative Forum, which was responsible for coming up with a business restructuring model to save SAA.
“In our view, we think that the decision that the government has taken in particular, the Ministry DPE lead by Pravin Gordhan is nothing less than liquidating the airline.”