SAA has informed employees that it will start consultations, in terms of the Labour Relations Act, which could lead to retrenchments at the ailing airline.
SAA’s business rescue practitioners, Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana said on Monday that notices of consultation were issued to all the recognized unions for employees and management.
They said they had been engaging with unions, most recently at the weekend, about the situation and the intention to begin the consultation process.
“Our intention has always been to preserve as many jobs as possible through this process while still focusing on having a sustainable airline and platform for growth,” they said.
The practitioners said the events of the past few months had had a significantly negative effect on SAA’s revenue. The overall result has seen a decline of R1.3bn in revenue, with a cost base that remained more or less flat.
The changes needed were therefore both structural and economic, and were urgent if liquidation — where all employees would lose their jobs — were to be ultimately avoided, they said.
The practitioners said that all 4,708 employees would be affected and the number of jobs that would exist in the restructured organization would be the subject of the consultation process.
Significant changes to conditions of employment, including remuneration and benefits, appeared unavoidable and would be sought by agreement, they said.