Fit to fly
I READ WITH GREAT interest Chimwemwe Mwanza’s report headlined “Knives out for Khaya” (7 August). I really do agree with you that SA Airways’ management isn’t up to any good. We, as the workers, feel it every day. Our morale is at all-time low, because we can see what’s happening around us and yet we can do nothing.
My colleagues and I work in minor maintenance at SAA Technical. Our crews used to be 12 strong – one supervisor, two senior licensed technicians (SLT) and nine technicians.
Recently, my crew has had NO supervisor, one SLT acting as supervisor, one licensed technician acting as SLT and four unlicensed technicians. Not just my crew but also most of the crews have shrunk to about that size. Yet the work has increased. We do SAA’s fleet (50), Mango’s fleet (four), kulula.com’s fleet (about eight), BA’s fleet (about 20), Iberia (four/week) and Namibia (four). As you see, the workers get less but the aircraft and work have increased.
There’s enormous pressure on us to get the aircraft out to fly. It’s frustrating and demoralising to see your skills and hard work being put into the pockets of (incompetent, greedy) managers as incentive bonuses and retention allowances, and yet they can’t make the right choices.
That brings me to a part of your report: “…which in turn led to the exodus of key technical skills – mostly pilots…” Since when does a pilot count as technical skill? A pilot has nothing, but nothing, to do with anything technical on an aircraft. They just get in and fly! ANONYMOUS