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South African Airways deplores Satawu tactics of intimidation and violence

Johannesburg, 4 March 2009

South African Airways deplores the tactics of intimidation and violence which were today practiced by members of the South African Trade and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) who are participating in the industrial action under way at the airline.

Satawu today intimidated, and became violent towards, members of SAA’s crew and ground staff working at Airways Park in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. SAA has called in the South African Police Service to bring order to Satawu members who are picketing outside Airways Park.

SAA is putting alternative security arrangements in place to ensure the safety of the airline’s employees.

The industrial action is now in its 13th day, and the operations of the airline have not been affected. SAA implemented a contingency plan at the start of the industrial action last Friday (20 February) which has ensured that the flight schedule has continued to run smoothly over the past 13 days. SAA had an excellent On Time Performance record in February despite the industrial action.

Several meetings have been held between SAA and representatives from Satawu, and further discussions are scheduled. SAA management remains committed to discussions with labour to find a speedy solution to the industrial action.

The airline will continue with the implementation of its contingency plan to ensure that flights run according to schedule. No flight delays are currently expected.

Background

The industrial action follows a dispute declared by South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), relating to the following issues: a demand that the payment of retention bonuses be extended to all employees, and that SAA immediately halts the use of labour brokers.

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