SAA pilots want court to declare their lockout unlawful as a matter of urgency

SAA’s rescue practitioners want SAAPA to settle for a new settlement. (Supplied)

  • An pressing software shall be heard by the Labour Court to have a lockout of SAA Pilots declared unlawful or unprotected.
  • The enterprise rescue practitioners of SAA have “locked out” SAAPA members since 18 December 2020, which means they can not work or receives a commission.
  • The rescue practitioners want SAAPA to settle for a new settlement in phrases of which salaries of all pilots shall be diminished by 50%.

The Airline Pilots’ Association of SA intends to deliver an pressing software within the Labour Court in Johannesburg on 29 December to have a lockout of members of the SAA Pilots’ Association declared unlawful or unprotected.

The software is introduced towards South African Airways as effectively as its joint enterprise rescue practitioners Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana. 

SAAPA has 367 members, representing 96% of the pilots employed by SAA. It can also be the only bargaining agent for all pilots employed by the airline.

A key sticking level for ALPA-SA and SAAPA is that the airline seeks, in phrases of its lockout notices, that pilots forego the rights afforded to them in their Regulating Agreement with SAA, together with the recall, fee and choice standards provisions.

SAA has been in enterprise rescue for greater than a 12 months now. Employees haven’t obtained salaries since May this 12 months; and because the lockdown began on the finish of March, just some repatriation and cargo flights have been undertaken. SAA has launched into a retrenchment course of in phrases of the Labour Relations Act.

The enterprise rescue practitioners have “locked out” SAAPA members since 18 December 2020. This resolution got here after negotiations on a new settlement with the union failed and all inner dispute processes had been exhausted, in accordance to the rescue practitioners. Those beneath “lock-out” should not allowed to render any providers or receives a commission. The intention is to drive them to settle for the phrases of a new employment settlement.

The rescue practitioners want SAAPA to settle for a new settlement in phrases of which salaries of all pilots shall be diminished by 50%. Their allowance per day may also be diminished. SAA has instituted separate proceedings within the Labour Court and within the High Court towards SAAPA and ALPA-SA, searching for to put aside the Regulating Agreement, which has its origins in 1998. 

SAAPA and ALPA-SA allege that the lockout quantities to the suspension by the employer of all of the provisions of the employment contracts of the locked-out staff, which is prohibited by the Companies Act and is, due to this fact, unlawful in their view.

SAA’s shareholder, the Department of Public Enterprises, argues that to ensure that a restructured SAA to get off the bottom, it’s important to cut back what it says is the the too-high price construction relating to pilots in phrases of a regulating settlement courting from 1988. In the DPE’s view, the settlement additionally contributed to the shortage of transformation at SAA.

A clause in SAAPA’s regulating settlement implies that, however any modifications in possession of SAA, the regulating settlement will stay in full operation. The DPE argues, due to this fact, that it’ll make SAA much less enticing to potential traders if it stays in place.

Funding to implement SAA’s enterprise rescue plan – R10.5 billion – was allotted by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in his medium time period price range. It is meant to cowl voluntary severance and retrenchment packages (about R2 billion) for workers.

The rescue plan solely offers for about R2 billion in working capital to get SAA going once more. That is why it’s important for presidency to discover a appropriate strategic fairness companion for SAA to get it going once more. It is foreseen that a new SAA will initially require solely 88 pilots.

SAAPA has stated prior to now that hanging onto its beneficial regulating settlement just isn’t the important thing challenge, however moderately the choice standards proposed for retrenching after which rehiring pilots for a new SAA. In SAAPA’s view, it comes down to retrenching and rehiring “based on race”.


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