South African Airways: Industrial action to end soon

South African Airways (SAA) confirmed today (November 22) that it had reached an agreement with the unions in which it has been conflict to end the industrial action which the latter had initiated a week ago.

SAA, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) reached the agreement yesterday.

“Our country needs a joint effort to create and maintain productive industrial relations that are key to the stability required to grow and expand the economy, create and maintain jobs and promote the country’s global competitiveness,” insisted Zuks Ramasia, SAA’s acting chief executive.

“This agreement with the unions will help promote that atmosphere of positivity, inclusivity and sustainable growth.”

SAA publicised a summary of the salient points of the agreement, which included improvements in staff pay.

Vitally, it also said that the NUMSA and SACCA coalition “agreed to, with immediate effect, call off the industrial action, and instruct their members currently on strike to return to work latest by 23 November 2019”.

Ramasia declared: “We are proud of SAA employees’ sacrifices by supporting the airline in these difficult times.

“This deal, particularly the fact that we offered a 5.9% salary increase amidst grave financial challenges, is to recognise the company’s employees for the important contributions they make to the overall success of the company, economic development, and inbound and outbound tourism,” Ramasia added.

The business environment over the past year has been very difficult and challenging for most businesses, including SAA, the carrier’s chief executive pointed out.

“Global economic growth remains largely anaemic,” she observed.

“The impact is being felt by most markets where the growth picture is fluid. As South Africa’s number one airline, we look forward to implementing this constructive agreement that helps SAA to enhance its competitiveness whilst preserving and protecting jobs,” Ramasia concluded.

Among the many costs to SAA that have been suffered as a result of the ongoing industrial unrest, the carrier has pointed to SAA Cargo revenue losses.

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