The hearing of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa’s (Numsa) urgent application to the Labour Court to compel the South African Airways’ Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) to pay their members three-months’ salary, which has already been paid to other employees, has been postponed to next week Monday.

This in order to allow the court enough time to study all the relevant documents.

Last month, the Business Rescue Practitioners paid some SAA employees three months’ salaries after receiving R1 billion from government.

The three months’ salary payments came after SAA employees had not been paid for eight months since May last year. However, it was subject to terms and conditions which Numsa and the Cabin Crew Association advised their members not to sign, hence they were not paid.

Other unions accepted the terms and conditions and their members received the three months’ salaries.

The Labour Force | SAA unions file urgent wage application at Labour Court: Phakamile Hlubi-Majola

Now, Numsa and the Cabin Crew Association want the Labour Court to declare that their members must also be paid even if though they rejected the terms and conditions.

“We want the Labour Court to declare that the decision taken by the BRPs not to pay our members their three-month salaries is unlawful and unfair and we want the court to compel the BRPs to pay our members within seven days. We want the court to protect the rights of our members because the Labour Relations Act does not allow employers to discriminate against workers and this applies to salaries as well. If an employer pays one group of workers then they must ensure that all other workers are also paid and failure to do so is discrimination. We hope that the court will ensure that our members will receive the three-month salaries which were paid to other employees,” says Phakamile Hlubi- Majola, Numsa Spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the SAA Business Rescue Practitioners have confirmed that they received another R1.3 billion from the Department of Public Enterprises last week.

They say the money is going to be used to pay the long-awaited Voluntary Severance Packages to the more than 3 000 employees who’ve opted to leave the national airline and also to pay creditors.

There is still no word about when the R10 billion business rescue package which was allocated by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in October last year will be transferred to SAA, if at all.

Numsa Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola on SAA funding: