Trade union Numsa has called on South African Airways (SAA) to refrain from – what they say – is misleading the public, by attributing the national carrier’s financial and operational woes to the recent strike.

This after Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, announced that a radical restructuring process will help ensure SAA’s financial and operational sustainability.

He says last month’s strike by members affiliated to Numsa and the Cabin Crew Association has caused immense damage to SAA’s reputation, operations and finances.

Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says SAA has been in financial turmoil well before the wage strike rose

She says the executive management and the board knew that they did not have enough money for salaries and operations to run for the rest of the year.

“When we talk about problems at SAA, we must be honest and we must not try and distract or mislead the public by claiming that the strike was the reason that it now suddenly finds itself in financial turmoil. It was known for a very long time and the board and shareholders were aware of this long before the strike action.”

Numsa has called for SAA to begin a process of rooting out corruption at management level in order for the national carrier to begin to generate revenue.

Hlubi-Majola says SAA did not consult with labour unions before announcing a radical restructuring process.

“We don’t even know what that is because we have not even met, or had any discussions or consultations. There can be no restructuring that does not deal with the fundamental issues that are affecting SAA and have been at the centre of SAA’s financial crisis”

“So until we start to deal decisively with that, we are not really dealing with generating revenue,” she adds.

 

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