SAA: We want to raise our concerns with Van Rooyen - UASA

Andre Venter says urgent high level intervention needed to rescue the national carrier

UASA will now push for meeting with Van Rooyen about the future of its workers at SAA

13 December 2015

With a new minister of finance at the helm of South Africa’s finances, Uasa wants to make it clear that it will not take a single step backwards in its quest to save the jobs of its members at South African Airways (SAA).

Uasa welcomed former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s stern warning to the SAA board in response to the proposal to restructure a re-fleeting transaction with Airbus that would leave SAA in a materially worse-off financial position.

A week ago, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), sent a letter to Nene, expressing its grave concern with the current situation at the national carrier. Uasa is an affiliate of Fedusa and has represented workers at the airline for more than 30 years.

Nene responded favourably to Fedusa’s request for a meeting with Fedusa president and Uasa CEO Koos Bezuidenhout and the Fedusa leadership during which Fedusa would table its concerns in detail.

Uasa wants to make it clear that it will not back off in its demand for intervention at the highest level and will now push for a meeting with Nene’s replacement, David van Rooyen. We will see to it that a similar letter will be addressed to Van Rooyen without delay. We fully expect him to explain to us the future of our members at SAA and we fully expect him to urgently intervene in the SAA crisis, without which we may see the national carrier plummet due to the absence of governance, leadership and instability.

Uasa, together with Fedusa, believes that Nene’s uncompromising position on the matter had also been stimulated by the federation’s recently submitted cautionary correspondence, regarding the absence of governance, leadership and instability. 

As one of the leading state-owned enterprises, the SAA board should exercise its organisational obligations with the necessary responsibility, to avert any possibility of financial misconduct and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act. 

Statement by Andre Venter, spokesperson of the trade union UASA, 13 December 2015