SAA workers to picket over unpaid wages

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A number of the South African Airways staff members have started arriving at the airline’s headquarters in Kempton Park to picket over unpaid wages.

The staff, who are not being represented by unions, say they have not been paid their May salaries and are desperate for answers from SAA Business Rescue Practitioners.

SAA employees say their benefits have also been tampered with and are going to stage a standstill, demanding their funeral cover, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and medical aids be paid.

They further say that SAA has cancelled employee benefits without consulting them.

SAA Business Rescue Practitioners are expected to publish their long-awaited rescue plan for the airline which employs more than 4 700 people.

The staff say they’re left in the dark.

Last week, the administrators at SAA asked creditors to delay the publication of a rescue plan for the cash-strapped airline this week, after trade unions objected to the plan being published on Monday.

The rescue plan for SAA, which has not made a profit since 2011, has been repeatedly pushed back amid fierce wrangling over the airline’s future.

In the video below – a discussion on tensions between SAA and the Business Rescue Practitioners:

The government and unions have been pressing for SAA to be salvaged in some form, despite its longstanding frailties being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed even once-profitable airlines into financial distress.

The administrators, appointed in December when SAA entered a local form of bankruptcy protection, asked creditors to approve a delay in the publication of the rescue plan until June 15.