Solidarity backtracks on SAA after meeting business rescue practitioner

 Solidarity backtracks on SAA after meeting business rescue practitioner

Solidarity will keep a close eye on the process to ensure no government interference, its CEO Dirk Hermann said.

Trade union Solidarity yesterday said they would no longer be pursuing a legal application against national carrier South African Airways (SAA) for appointing a business rescue practitioner without them.

This comes after a satisfying meeting the trade union had with SAA’s lawyers and chosen practitioner Les Matuson yesterday afternoon, where they said all their concerns were now being considered.

Solidarity chief executive officer Dirk Hermann said: “We think it is of critical importance that all stakeholders are consulted in the business rescue process – and in that regard we engaged positively with Mr Matuson.

“Labour will play a critical role in the turnaround and in this regard Mr Matuson wholeheartedly agreed.”

He said after a “frank” discussion between the trade union Solidarity, SAA’s lawyers and Matuson agreed that they would use the business rescue expert they had suggested, Cloete Murray, in the process “possibly as the independent chairperson of the employee committee”.

He added that they had also put in the suggestion and gained assurance that Matuson would engage “as soon as possible” with former SAA chief executive officer Vuyani Jarana to see where he could offer help.

“Of critical importance is the independence of the business rescue practitioner – we’ve seen the results of government interference in the running of the airline,” Hermann said.

“Solidarity was assured that Mr Matuson is wholly independent – and that he will be willing to take whatever steps he deems necessary to enact a turnaround independent of government.

“Solidarity will keep a close eye on the process to ensure no government interference.”

Trade unions, including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, were unable to comment on their stance after this development at the time of going to print.

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