As South African Airways (SAA) scrambles to secure funding to run day-to-day operations, and also to pay salaries for month-end, an agreement between unions and management has been reached, mediated by the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
Striking workers agreed to a 5.9% wage increase following eight days of strike action.
The CCMA confirmed that the wage dispute between SAA and unions had been resolved following a mediated process that was reconvened on Wednesday. The mediated process resulted in an agreement signed at midday.
The CCMA plans to provide post-dispute support to the parties in ensuring that they work through some of the underlying issues.
CCMA director Cameron Morajane commended the parties for remaining in-process and restoring some measure of stability.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), alongside the SA Cabin Crew Association, wanted an 8% salary increase, insourcing of workers and job security for three years.
According to the agreement, workers earning less than R1 million a year will get a 5.9% increase, retrospective to 1 April 2019, and will be paid on 20 February 2020.
Managers earning between R1 million to R1.49 million per annum receive an increase of 2.8 percent. Managers earning more will get no increase.
The back payment for April to September 2019 will be paid in the March 2020 payroll, while the remaining four months until January 2020 will be paid in the April 2020 payroll but the salary increases and back payments will be subject to funds being found by SAA, as it has reportedly run out of money, with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan saying they were not sure they’d be able to pay November salaries.
SAA is trying to secure R2 billion in government guaranteed funding from lenders.