Labour union National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it does not believe that the cash-strapped South African Airways (SAA) has exhausted all options before opting to retrench workers.

Numsa has emphasized that SAA management has failed to implement several turnaround strategies.

SAA announced its intention to restructure the firm, which could affect 944 employees. The national carrier may seek a facilitator or request that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) facilitate the consultation process, which could last until January.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says before SAA turns to retrenchments, they should look into recovering funds lost through corruption.

Hlubi-Majola says, “We believe that the management of SAA is disingenuous, they are not genuine. They have had 8 turnaround strategies, which they have failed to implement. One of our consistent demands as unions has been that the board must be scrapped. Before we even talk about retrenchments, can we talk about what you have done to recover monies that were lost through looting…”

“What have you done to implement the turnaround strategy? Frankly, this management and the board of SAA has failed on all accounts,” added Hlubi-Majola.

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