SAA gives a break down of a wage deal reached with unions

SAA on Friday provided a breakdown of the agreement reached with striking unions.
SAA on Friday provided a breakdown of the agreement reached with striking unions.
Image: 123RF/ Jaromír Chalabala

SAA on Friday confirmed that a wage-related strike was over.

The airline and employee unions Numsa and Sacca signed an agreement on Friday, a week after workers abandoned their posts.

“SAA has reached an agreement with unions to end the industrial action,” the airline said in a statement.

The workers had, among, other demands, wanted a wage increment of 8%. The airline was offering 5.9%. The trade unions have since agreed to 5.9%.

The national carrier’s acting CEO Zuks Ramasia was positive about the airline’s future.

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

After two days of discussions under the auspices of the CCMA, SAA listed these as the points of their agreement with the unions:

  • The parties agree to an increase of 5.9% on total cost of employment retrospective to April 1 2019, which will be paid in the February 2020 payroll, subject to availability of funding;
  • The back payment for the first six months (April to September 2019) will be paid in the March 2020 payroll;
  • The remaining four months (October 2019 to January 2020) back pay will be paid in the April 2020 payroll;
  • The entitlement to the salary increase and back pay as referred to in point 1, 2 and 3 above is subject to funds being obtained by SAA for such purposes and being available during February 2020, March 2020 and April 2020 as the case may be;
  • The section 189A Labour Relations Act (LRA) process, for which notice was served on November 11 2019 to all recognised trade unions, will be deferred effective from the date of signature of this agreement to January 31 2020. The deferment will only apply to this bargaining unit (non-management);
  • The section 189A LRA process, which commenced on Wednesday, November 20 2019, will however continue for SAA management, with the next consultation meeting scheduled for Monday, November 25 2019;
  • SAA and the recognised trade unions will apply to the relevant authorities (department of employment & labour and the CCMA) for SAA to participate in the Training Layoff Scheme in terms of the rules of the scheme;
  • The parties further agree to establish a task team. The main objective of the task team will be to identify and consider cost saving initiatives, inter alia, insourcing and contracts. Should the task team be able to realise savings, a percentage of the after-tax savings may be ring-fenced and paid to employees in the bargaining unit. The task team will discuss and agree on a formula for such payment; and
  • 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 November 23 2019.

Ramasia said the National Transport Movement had also signed the wage agreement alongside the other unions.


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