The labour court has dismissed an application by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) to stop looming retrenchments at South African Airways (SAA).
Judge Graham Moshoana said there were procedures in Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act dealing with retrenchments and “the powers of this court to compel a fair procedure and/or interdicting and restraining SAA are severely circumscribed”.
There was no order with regards to costs.
The airline’s business rescue practitioners argued that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the unions’ application.
Numsa and Sacca approached the court after the two practitioners recently announced that the airline would cancel all domestic flights, except for a reduced service to Cape Town, as well as some international and regional flights, at the end of February in a bid to cut costs.
President of the SA Cabin Crew Association, Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi, said that the court’s decision was shocking.“The court has in essence taken away workers’ rights to be meaningfully engaged and consulted prior to a restructuring taking place."
Whilst Numsa Spokesperson spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the ruling was "completely outrageous" and the union would fight it.
The unions have applied for leave to appeal.