Two unions at SAA representing about 2,500 employees said on Thursday they would go to the labour court to block SAA's plan to cut 900 jobs. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
CAPE TOWN - Two unions at South African Airways (SAA) representing about 2,500 employees said on Thursday they would go to the labour court to block the state airline’s plan to cut 900 jobs.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) said in a statement it was approaching the Labour Court to force SAA to comply with Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, which set out the steps and the consultations a company must follow during retrenchments.

A second union, the Aviation Union of Southern Africa (AUSA) said it would join the labour court application, as well as seek to be part of deadlocked wage talks, although the two unions will not take part in a strike planned for Friday. 

Meanwhile, SAA said on Thursday it would offer unions a revised wage increase in a bid to avert a strike that has forced the airline to cancel domestic and international flights scheduled for Friday.

“We have a meeting scheduled for today at 2 o’clock and we are hopeful we will be able to resolve the issue ... It will include all the unions ... and if the meeting yields positive results we will then activate some of contingency plans that will allow us to reinstate flights,” said SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali in a live interview on news channel eNCA.

SAA has cancelled “nearly all” flights scheduled for Friday because of a strike over wage increases planned by a majority of employees, television news channel eNCA said.

REUTERS