Numsa SAA, cabin crew to picket over non-payment of salaries

SAA Reuters - Numsa SAA, cabin crew to picket over non-payment of salaries

South African Airways (SAA) staff members affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South Africa Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) will on Thursday morning picket outside SAA headquarters in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

The unions are demanding that workers be paid their salaries.

It has been eight months since staff at the airline were paid.

Unions will also hand out a memorandum of demands.

In his mini budget in October, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni allocated R2.2-billion of the R10.5-billion needed by the airline.

The allocated money is set to be paid out as severance packages to employees in terms of the business rescue plan. But funds have not yet been paid out.

The unions opened criminal cases against members of the SAA and South African airways Technical (SAAT) executive management and board members at the Kempton Park Police station yesterday.

Speaking to SABC News in September, NUMSA Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola and SACCA Spokesperson Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi said SAA board members must face criminal charges:

Opposition irked by bailout

Political parties reacted with shock at the news of the R10-billion bailout announcement by Mboweni for SAA.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said Mboweni’s mini-budget lacked the initiative to move the country forward to the detriment of ordinary South Africans.

DA Shadow Minister of Finance Geordin Hill-Lewis said: “The bailout of SAA is a critical failure the minister has made. This is a matter of principle. He has been warning the country and promising that there would be no further bailouts and he has retreated on that. He has abandoned that commitment and there will be another R10.5 billion on top of the R16.5 billion they got in February.”

Meanwhile, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) was also not pleased with the SAA bailout.

“Well, the government priorities are upside down, if you look at it. You have a government that calls on civil servants, public representatives to make sacrifices, to take a pay cut in the next few years, which is fine and we are prepared to enter that discussion. But the very same government, decides to give more than R10 billion to SAA as a bailout package. It is a lot like a provider of a family who decides to buy a Christmas tree when the family does not have bread and butter on the table,” says UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa.

-Additional reporting by SABC News


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