The South African Airways (SAA) sent a section 189 notice to unions to start consultations on large-scale retrenchments.
The airline states in its notice that it is not financially or economically viable as it currently operates. Drastic change is needed to prevent the airline from being liquidated and leaving all employees without work.
SAA believes that to build a commercially viable business, it will have to scale its fleet from 48 aircraft to 19 and drastically reduce the routes it currently flies.
“The proposed restructuring requires a reduction in posts. All posts are affected. The positions that will be retained in the new structure’s terms of service [especially regarding salary and benefits] will differ substantially, while the absence of former positions in the new structure will mean that these posts will no longer exist. So every employee will be affected. ”
According to the airline, only 2,440 of the current 4,708 posts are expected to still exist, possibly in a different form, if the restructuring is continued. However, the proposal cannot be successfully implemented without the cooperation of the various unions.
SAA’s revenue fell by more than R1,3bn, while costs remained almost unchanged.
“The changes required at SAA are therefore both structural and economic. It is urgent if liquidation is eventually to be averted. If this happens, all employees will lose their jobs. ”
The business resellers provide a “fundamental restructuring” of the airline.
The business rescuers say several other options have been considered, including reducing contract workers and renegotiating procurement contracts, but none of that will be enough.
The business rescuers say they spoke to the Unemployment Insurance Fund about retraining employees who lose their jobs.
“We must emphasize that no final decisions have been made, nor will we be taken until our consultation has exhausted, and hopefully we reach an agreement.”