Gauteng Business News

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Law: Satawu Gives SAA Notice Of Industrial Action


Recent Gauteng Business News

South African Airways (SAA) can confirm that trade union Satawu has given notice of its intention to embark on industrial action possibly as early as today, Saturday 29^th November 2008.

The planned industrial action relates primarily to a dispute over the outsourcing of SAA’s Voyager and Reservations call centre, although Satawu has listed a number of other issues relating to alleged unilateral changes to conditions of employment.

SAA continues to negotiate with Satawu in order to find a way forward. However, in the event of industrial action, SAA has a full contingency plan in place. At this stage we expect only minor, if any, disruptions to our operations. We will continue to assess the situation.

SAA is also of the view that this industrial action is unprotected and has informed staff that should they participate in the strike, the airline may consider taking disciplinary action against them which may lead to dismissal.


Apart from the outsourcing contract, Satawu has also listed a number of items relating to conditions of employment which the union alleges SAA changed unilaterally. These are:

1. Changes to post retirement benefits;
2. Changes to the allocation of sick leave days;
3. Changes to the rosters of cabin crew as a punitive measure for
taking sick leave;
4. Changes to sign-on times for cabin crew members;
5. Withdrawal of the uniform allowance (for cabin crew);
6. Withdrawal of travelling benefits;
7. Introduction of preventative suspensions without pay.

Satawu referred a dispute about the alleged unilateral changed terms of conditions on 25 November to the CCMA, in terms of Sections 64 (4) of the Labour Relations Act.

SAA has agreed with Satawu that in spite of the fact that some of the items listed above are not terms and conditions of employment, SAA will ensure there are no changes to any of these matters. The airline wishes to emphasize that it has never intended that the terms and conditions of employment of its staff would be unilaterally changed.

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