With the way the economy has been moving down, financial struggles are a given, and in the midst of all these struggles, South African Airways has decided to let some of their workers go to minimize their overhead expenses. But this action has not been swept under the rug, rather two labor unions have taken the company to court.
The court battle is to take place between three large parties, two of which are the labor unions themselves.South African Cabin Crew Association or the SACCA, are the trade union for airlines in particular in South Africa. And they deal with all sorts of employment contracts from full-time to seasonal.
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa or NUMSA, in short, is one of the biggest trade unions in South Africa. Workers of all categories who fall under the heading are associated with this union. This is why they are very powerful and have a great say in matters.
On the opposite side of the court, we have Business Rescue Practitioners (BRP).They were hired in order to help the airlines out of this mess. And they mainly work with business rescue.
A court application was submitted by NUMSA and SACCA against the actions of South African Airways. The large scale of job cuts was against the labor laws of the country. Along with that, BRP was accused of turning a blind eye to what the company was doing.
“We’ve gone to court in order to safeguard the rights of our members and to ensure that proper legal process is followed if retrenchments do occur” -NUMSA’s PhakamileHlubi-Majola via Reuters.
There is a 60-day period mandated for consultation, but BRP wants to be done with that sooner. If this law is followed, then the employees are given enough time to deal with the fairness of the job cut as well as a challenge where they believe they have been wronged.
BRP was not only challenged by NUMSA and SACCA for the haste in the job cuts, but there is also a search for the second court order for the training layoff scheme.During the retraining session, the SAA workers would have to be given three-quarters of their salary for about 6 months.
“The BRPs, together with the SAA management, have deliberately ignored this option and instead are pushing for mass retrenchments through the cancellation of routes” -SACCA & NUMSA joint statement via BusinessDay.
South African Airways is to make these job cuts in 8 rounds, and it is to start from the 29th of February. All of which will be made from their international portfolio.
On 13th February, two different applications have been sent to the court from NUMSA and SACCA because of South African Airways’ decision to lay off the workers for cutting down on their overheads.