We haven’t decided on number of Air Chefs layoffs yet ― SAA

Air Chefs, the catering arm of South African Airways, has launched a consultation process with unions that may lead to job losses. This comes as the airline embarks on its latest airline turnaround strategy.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tali, in a written response to Fin24 on Monday, said Air Chefs has initiated a consultation process with unions in terms of section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

Section 189 is initiated if an employer is considering dismissing employees based on operational requirements. The employer then consults with workplace forums or trade unions in an effort to to lessen the severity of job losses.

Tlali said Air Chefs has not yet made a decision on how many workers would be laid off. The consultation would allow the stakeholders to “explore avenues” to “avert laying off staff”.

“Retrenchment is an option of last resort when all other avenues have been fully explored,” he said.


The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) in a statement said that Air Chefs had plans to retrench 118 workers out of a total workforce of 1 200.

READ MORE: Numsa slams SAA-owned Air Chefs for retrenchment notice

Numsa wants retrenchments to take place within the SAA Group, the parent company of Air Chefs. “Our members demand that any restructuring must take place at a group level and should not be decentralised.”

Turnaround strategy

According to Tlali, as part of implementing its turnaround strategy “employee ratios” at SAA are under consideration.

SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana, meanwhile, recently told Parliament’s finance oversight committee that he had made efforts to outsource workers to other airlines to “soften the blow” of the rationalisation of the business.

“We are concerned about the survival of the airline, its employees and its return to positive financial performance,” Tlali said.

The airline has been struggling with its financial position, and requires R21.7-billion over three years to service debt, of which R9.2-billion is historic, and R12.5-billion for working capital.

READ MORE: Broke SAA goes on spending spree

“For us to return to positive financial performance, we must implement the turnaround strategy – something that has eluded SAA for many years.”

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration is set to facilitate a consultation between Air Chefs and unions on June 19. — Fin24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Lameez Omarjee
Lameez Omarjee
Parliamentary reporter at Fin24.com

Related stories

SAA funds may need a top-up

Industry experts predict the R10.5-billion from the treasury to rescue the airline may not be enough, but the rescue practitioners say the money is enough to ‘settle the sins of the past’

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my time’ — Mamodupi Mohlala

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

Covid-19 causes Acsa to dust off its begging bowl

The SOE has asked the government for R3.5-billion in extra support over the next three years to offset losses incurred because of the pandemic

‘Myeni obstructed the work of the Zondo commission’ — Hofmeyer

Advocate Kate Hofmeyr submitted that deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo should direct the secretary of the commission to lay a charge against Dudi Myeni for revealing the identity of secret witness ‘Mr X’

Myeni chooses silence on SAA capture

The former SAA board chairperson invoked the privilege not to incriminate herself at the Zondo commission

Constitutional Court ruling on restructuring dispute is good for employers

A judgment from the apex court empowers employers to change their workers’ contracts — without consultation
Advertising

Subscribers only

Dozens of birds and bats perish in extreme heat in...

In a single day, temperatures in northern KwaZulu-Natal climbed to a lethal 45°C, causing a mass die-off of birds and bats

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

More top stories

Eusebius McKaiser: Mpofu, Gordhan caught in the crosshairs

The lawyer failed to make his Indian racist argument and the politician refused to admit he had no direct evidence

Corruption forces health shake-up in Gauteng

Dr Thembi Mokgethi appointed as new health MEC as premier seeks to stop Covid-19 malfeasance

Public-private partnerships are key for Africa’s cocoa farmers

Value chain efficiency and partnerships can sustain the livelihoods of farmers of this historically underpriced crop

Battery acid, cassava sticks and clothes hangers: We must end...

COMMENT: The US’s global gag rule blocks funding to any foreign NGOS that perform abortions, except in very limited cases. The Biden-Harris administration must rescind it
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…