South Africa

South African court rejects SAA unions’ bid to block job cuts

By Reuters 14 February 2020
Caption
Striking South African Airways workers protest at an entrance to Cape Town International Airport on 18 November 2019. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 14 (Reuters) - A bid by two trade unions to block job cuts at South African Airways (SAA) was rejected by the country's labour court on Friday.

SAA is fighting for survival after being placed under a form of bankruptcy protection in December.

The unions argued that SAA’s administrators sought to accelerate job cuts outside of a 60-day mandatory consultation period.

“It is this court’s conclusion that SAA has not contemplated dismissal and the duty to consult within the contemplation of section 183 (1) of the labour Relations Act did not arise,” Judge Graham Moshoana said in his televised judgment.

“Since the duty to consult has not arisen, the powers of this court to compel a fair procedure and or interdicting and restraining SAA are severely circumscribed.”

“For all the above reason’s the application must fail, the judge said.

The two unions are the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and South African Cabin Crew Association. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by David Evans and Jason Neely)

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