Police Arrest Troublesome SATAWU Protestors
JOHANNESBURG, 04 September 2013. Two protestors assumed to be members or sympathisers with the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) were arrested outside South African Airways (SAA) premises in the early hours of this morning.
The two were part of a group that blocked main entrances leading into SAA and SAA Technical and were taken into custody whilst trying to barricade the entrances by setting tyres alight. This incident happened away from the demarcated picketing area.
SAA has consulted with its lawyers in order to pursue contempt of court proceedings against SATAWU who have clearly disobeyed the order after the airline successfully applied for an interdict last week against the union to bar striking employees from acts of intimidation, assault and vandalising property.
The company advised its Johannesburg based office staff to work from remote locations due to the volatile situation that prevailed this morning. Employees who had reported for duty were also given an option to leave office early.
SAA has taken measures intended to ensure that non-striking employees are able to report for duty and that their property as well as that of the company is secured. These measures include visible and vigilant police presence on site to continue to maintain law and order as well as enforcing the court interdict.
The latest incidents reinforce SAA management decision taken last week to suspend all forms of wage negotiations with SATAWU until the union has called its members to order. These negotiations remain suspended.
This unruly behaviour further erodes whatever remnants of sympathy there was left in support of SATAWU’s cause. The right to embark on an industrial action is a legally protected one but must not translate into acts of intimidation or violence under any circumstances.
Given all the riotous acts witnessed this morning, SAA and SAA Technical operations experienced only one flight delay today. In addition, the protest and the barricade of public roads caused a major inconvenience not only to non-striking staff who wanted to report for duty but to members of the public as well.
SAA will continue to do everything possible in order to find a resolution to the impasse.
The airline will also continue to update its customers and passengers of any significant developments through its official channels of communication, including the website, Facebook and Twitter platforms.
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 26 destinations across the continent, as well as major destinations within South Africa and internationally from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC). SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for eleven consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on-time airlines.
For more information contact:
SAA Group Corporate Affairs
Executive: Group Corporate Affairs
Tel: +27 11 978 3819
Mobile: +27 82 333 3880
Communication Manager (External)
Tel: +27 11 978 2760
Mobile: +27 83 414 4720