Unionists played part in SAA woes
It’s no surprise that the unions at South African Airways (SAA) are up in arms about the announcement this week that the airline is cutting domestic and overseas flights to try to save itself. The unions claim the dire financial situation at SAA is somehow due to a plot by nefarious groups to force the government to sell the airline off.
It does not seem to cross the mind of the unionists – in the National Union of Metalworkers of SA and the South African Cabin Crew Association – that they, themselves, have had a large hand in making SAA’s financial crisis even worse.
Airline spokesperson Tlali Tlali admitted as much in a surprisingly forthright comment.
He said: “We must be sincere to our customers, members of the public and the stakeholders, it cannot be that we must come out and deny the fact that the events that took place in the last quarter of the last calendar year have not had an impact insofar as the brand of the airline is concerned and the decision that we have now taken shows that it is not business as usual.”
SAA and airline industry experts warned that the one-week strike called by the unions last year – and which saw an effective temporary grounding of the airline – would cost R50 million a day.
So, R350 million-plus was immediately added on to SAA’s already horrendous debt.
It now needs R2 billion merely to continue operating in its current business rescue mode. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said officials at Treasury are working frantically to find that money.
It’s got to come from somewhere – so, maybe education or health will end up being that little bit worse off.
Not a bad gift to give to South Africa, you unionists. And, you might all lose your jobs anyway when SAA finally collapses.