SAA argued that the matter was not urgent and should be heard at this time denying that the lockout was unprotected. The court did not rule whether the matter was urgent or not. File photo.
SAA argued that the matter was not urgent and should be heard at this time denying that the lockout was unprotected. The court did not rule whether the matter was urgent or not. File photo.

SAAPA respects labour court’s decision to postpone its case

By Dieketseng Maleke Time of article published Apr 16, 2021

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THE SAA Pilots’ Association (SAAPA) said it respected the labour court’s decision to postpone its hearing until June 15.

This comes after SAAPA launched an urgent application with the court to declare the SAAPA lockout unprotected or unlawful.

Speaking to BRO, SAAPA chairperson Captain Grant Back said: “While we would have preferred that the matter be adjudicated on yesterday, we look forward to the next hearing and remain confident that we have a sound case in all aspects.”

SAA argued that the matter was not urgent and should be heard at this time, denying that the lockout was unprotected. The court did not rule whether the matter was urgent or not.

On Wednesday, SAAPA said in a statement it would apply for an urgent interdict to have the airline's use of replacement labour declared illegal during their dispute with the carrier.

Back said if the lockout was declared unlawful, the union would immediately stop the strike.

He said members of the association were on strike, having initially been locked out by SAA.

“SAAPA has agreed to cancel their existing regulating agreement the day after their members are retrenched, but it will also argue that SAA cannot, while the current strike/lockout dispute continues, demand it be cancelled and also endeavour to do so through further pending court action, which SAA is attempting to do,” he said.

SAAPA said they would further argue that salaries owed to striking pilots from before the start of the lockout be paid, just as they were to non-cockpit employees.

“To reiterate, our members are all just seeking what is lawfully owed to them. We are also dismayed that what is essentially a legitimate labour dispute between employer and employees has now become in part an ugly and hurtful race-driven debate,” Back said.

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