Mon. May 25th, 2020

SAA cabin crew members picket for Vuyani Jarana’s unlikely return

Vuyani Jarana SAASAA’s reluctance to answer this call is telling.

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South African Airways (SAA) has maintained its position in the debacle concerning its recently-departed CEO, Vuyani Jarana: it is highly unlikely that he will be returning.

On Tuesday, scores of National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) members, accompanied by the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), marched to the SAA headquarters, in Kempton Park, to hand over a memorandum of demands.

Why are Numsa and Sacca members picketing?

High on the agenda was the call for the return of Jarana, the chief executive whose scathing resignation letter sparked debates about the state of our parastatals.

Jarana placed bureaucratic red tape, and political influence in the ongoings of the airline, as part of his reason to step down. For SAA’s workforce, this was a slap in the face of progress. Jarana’s turnaround strategy, if implemented, would have turned the tide around the airline’s dire financial straits by 2021.

However, it’s politics as usual, and SAA has made no indication of engaging Jarana on a possible return to his position.

Airline accepts workers’ memorandum

The memorandum was accepted by SAA’s Interim CFO, Deon Fredericks at around 11:4, while the other was received at Airways Park Human Resources General Manager, Vuyi Raseroka.

“We will provide all possible and necessary assistance to customers who may need such support. Information on the status of our flights will be placed on all official channels of communication, including social media accounts and updated on a continuous basis,” SAA spokesperson, Tlali Tlali noted in a statement.

Will Vuyani Jarana return as CEO?

The airline’s hushed response to the calls from its workers reiterates the stance it took when the question of Jarana’s return was put forward by the media.

“In terms of his contractual obligations, Mr Jarana has committed to remain until the end of August to ensure an orderly transition of his responsibilities, which is a matter that the Board will consider. The Board of SAA will immediately commence the process of searching for a new Group CEO to take the strategy forward,” was the last we heard from SAA about Jarana.

Until now, there have been no indications on whether the Numsa-Sacca picket will continue on throughout the week.

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