No industrial action on the horizon – SAA
South African Airways (SAA) wishes to clarify that the airline is currently conducting wage negotiations with labour unions that are recognized to represent the interests of cabin crew and ground staff. Contrary to suggestions or media reports that an industrial action is on the horizon, this process is still on track and its outcomes will be known soon. Naturally, negotiations of this nature are sensitive and this is a delicate process which the airline treats with the necessary confidentiality.
The initial stages of our engagements with the unions have indicated that there is a need to do more in order for parties to find a common ground. As a result, we have undertaken to subject ourselves to a facilitation driven process through a credible third party, namely, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). We have made significant headway and have every reason to remain optimistic about this process. This is the stage where our negotiations are at the moment.
It is both premature and unfortunate for UASA to suggest that negotiations have or are about to reach a deadlock. SAA would like to give every legitimate and reasonable engagement a chance before any conclusions could be made that parties are unable to agree. Based on this and until all options have been exhausted, SAA is not willing to divulge details to third parties of its discussions with the unions. Regardless, the insinuation that our offer currently stands at three per cent (3%) must be rejected as it is misleading and has a potential to create discomfort among staff and derail negotiations.
Moreover, there is every intention on SAA’s part to ensure that good faith and maturity prevail throughout this process. It is in the interests of both the airline and labour to ensure that an agreement is reached as soon as possible.
As a principle, SAA regard the media as an inappropriate platform for any substantive engagement on matters of this nature.