Just when South Africans were reading the last rights for our ailing National Carrier the Unions and Government once again seem to have a "plan" to save the airline.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan this morning convened a high-level meeting between senior government leadership and representatives of the SAA Unions: SATAWU, NUMSA, SACCA, SAAPA, NTM, AUSA, Solidarity, and non-unionised staff formation (SAA Labour Unions).
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the status of the Business Rescue Process, finalise a Leadership Compact, the process to give input to the Business Rescue Plan and how the impact of the Business Rescue Process on employees can be mitigated. In respect of the immediate threat of liquidation, it was agreed with the Business Rescue Practitioners that they would not consider an application for liquidation and in addition they would suspend the Section 189 process, and offer to employees until the close of business next Friday (01/05/2020).
This decision was based on a briefing to the Business Rescue Practitioners on the constructive work being done in what is referred to as “The 12 Page 1 of 21 Page of Leadership Consultative Forum” chaired by the Minister. The parties agreed in principle to a ground-breaking Leadership Compact which commits the leadership of the DPE and Unions to a new shared vision, strategic objectives, structures and processes for meaningful engagement, strategic equity partners including employees and other elements aimed at building new, fundamentally different cooperative relationships based on a spirit of strategic partnerships.
The vision agreed by the parties is “A national asset which is internationally competitive, viable, sustainable and profitable”. The leadership recognise the enormity of the challenge but are unequivocally committed to saving SAA and shining the torch to a new world post COVID-19 in which SAA is a key catalyst for investment and job creation.