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Judgment Reserved In Unions’ Appeal To Halt SAA Retrenchments

The Labour Court has reserved judgment in the appeal brought by two unions who want to interdict retrenchments at the South African Airways (SAA) on Friday.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) want to stop SAA from laying-off workers as part of its turnaround strategy.

The court in Johannesburg dismissed their initial application and has now reserved judgment in their appeal.

SAA is desperate to cut costs and in the last few months, it has cancelled dozens of local, regional and international flights.


Unions said they were shocked by the Labour Court judgment dismissing their latest bid to clamp down on job cuts at SAA.

The court in Johannesburg on Friday rejected an application brought by Numsa and the SACCA who wanted to prevent the airline from introducing retrenchments.

Judge Graham Moshoana threw the matter out – explaining that there are no reasonable grounds to assume SAA is going ahead with the layoffs.

While unions understand that retrenchments could take place at SAA, they’re pushing back against what they say was a lack of consultation in the process.

The unions are accusing SAA of laying the groundwork to initiate retrenchments at a whim by cancelling close to a dozen flights.

The crew association’s Zazi Sibanyoni said workers were already feeling the impact of the cancellations.

Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said they would not be taking this judgment laying down.

Business rescue practitioners have been at pains to explain that every effort is being taken to limit the impact of job losses in SAA and its subsidiaries.