LETTER: Unions’ wage demand irrational and absurd

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South Africa Headlines News

Unions should not be seeking to increase SAA's debt by making impossible and unrealistic demands

Given the financial circumstances of SAA and the fact that SA taxpayers in effect subsidise the airline, the present stance of the recognised unions is irrational and absurd.

A responsible approach would include a standstill agreement whereby salary and wage increases are suspended for a year so that SAA can cut its overhead costs. This should also apply to management. If such an agreement was concluded for the next wage year some of the planned retrenchments might be avoided. This is what motor vehicle employers agreed with the unions some years in the US when the industry was in trouble.

Numsa’s decision to embark on a strike in these circumstances will probably become an open invitation for SAA to apply for business rescue. Although such a measure would damage its reputation in the short term, it may become the best option if SAA’s losses increase and the unions fail to respond realistically.

 

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