JOHANNESBURG – DailyAfrika has gathered that South African Airways (SAA) pilots are threatening to embark on a strike in an aim to force changes in their working conditions.
Media reports suggest that the pilots are set to strike if changes don’t take place at the cash strapped national airline.
SAA Pilots’ Association had organised an independent service provider earlier this year to conduct a survey on conditions at work.
Although the survey revealed scathing findings with 91 percent of pilots responding that operations management was either poor or extremely poor, while 96 percent were in favour of taking a stand to force change at the airline, it remains to be seen whether the striker will indeed go ahead.
According to reports, SAAPA says meetings have not produced the desired results and the trade union has sent a letter to the airline with a list of demands, including the appointment of an experienced CEO within 90 days.
Among their grievances, they’re also calling for a skills audit on all general managers and head of departments.
According to the chairperson of the SAA Pilots Association, Captain John Harty, he stated that the industrial action by the pilots will be the last resort.
“The demands are all to do with improving the airline, saving SAA and putting proper management in place that can get the job done,” said Harty to Radio702.
“We need to sort the management out once and for all.
“Harty rubbishes claims that the pilots are partly to blame for the losses incurred by the ailing airline.
“If we worked for nothing the airline would still make a loss. We need to get off of lashing pilots.
“We are demanding accountable, good airline experience management from CEO level all the way down,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Pilots have also called for the removal of inept management in order to bring change at the struggling national carrier.
In addition, Zuks Ramasia was named the acting CEO for SAA succeeding Vuyani Jarana who resigned in June and according to SAA, the board has commenced a search, domestically and globally, for a permanent CEO with appropriate experience and expertise to stabilise the company.
“We are close to concluding other senior appointments and will make further announcements in due course,” said SAA chairman JB Magwaza to The Citizen.