Today's Labour News

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saa thumb medium95 76BL Premium reports that the SA Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa), which is investigating a dangerous incident during take-off of an SA Airways (SAA) plane last month, has hit out at critics questioning its objectivity.

Sacaa said it would not be drawn into “political fights” between SAA and its pilots, whom it suggested were involved in misinformation. SAA pilots, 90% of whom belong to the SAA Pilots Association (Saapa), have been locked out since December in a labour dispute over the conditions of their retrenchment. The news that an SAA Airbus A340-600 bound for Brussels experienced an “alpha floor protection event” on 24 February during take-off from Johannesburg has been accompanied by a raft of claims. In a statement on Thursday, Sacaa suggested that the misinformation was being driven by a party that was in dispute with SAA. SAA has been mothballed since September and none of its pilots have flown recently, which is a requirement that must be met through simulator or other training. Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan fired his own broadside at Saapa, which he said was lobbying MPs and influencing their understanding of the SAA issues. “Members of Saapa are doing everything possible to sabotage SAA from getting off the ground. I don’t think committee members must [allow themselves to] be lobbied. What the pilots’ association is doing is highly detrimental to what we want to do as government, which is to get the airline off the ground,” he told MPs. Grant Back, chair of Saapa, said that his organisation had been completely neutral in all its statements on the issues of the Brussels flight.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Carol Paton at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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