The deadline of South African Airways staff to agree to its layoff terms has been suspended while a judge considers his ruling in a court case brought by two trade unions at the cash-strapped airline.
The government owned airline has been fighting for its survival after entering in a form of bankruptcy protection in December. Cut to 2020, the pandemic situation led to the airline’s already depleted fortune in a bigger mess as all the commercial passenger flight services were forced to halt. Also, the last nail of the coffin was the South African Government’s decision to not to provide any further funding for further turnaround efforts.
The administrators, seeking to rescue the cash starved SAA asked its employees and unions that, they must accept the terms by 8th May or a layoff agreement would be offered to all the staffs. Then the staffs would have a time till the end of 11th May to accept the terms or the airline could eventually start laying of as much as 5000 of its employees.
Efforts by both the worker’s unions named NUMSA and SACGA to block the job cuts through the labour court were later opposed in court by the administrators and the judge will deliver a judgment as soon as possible.
The administrators have a time until the end of the month in order to draft a business rescue plan for the South African Airways. The cash strived organization hasn’t made any profit since 2011 and it has received a massive total bailout of more than 20 billion rand till date. According to the public enterprises minister, the South African government wanted to avoid a liquidation or fire of South African Airlines assets, preferring to see the SAA restructured into a new airlines.