South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) has noted the developments and pronouncements made by various Ministers in relation to measures to be implemented by various establishments to confront the spectre of the COVI – 19 pandemic as well as processes the employers are expected to affect to overcome most difficult times ahead of us. The organisation has been advised of various employer s intentions to reactivate their operations from the 4th May 2020, some with programmatic means to be implemented in the processes of activating some of their operations, whilst some employers are mum on the processes of reactivating their operations. As the organisation, we commit to our Constitutional obligation to be on the ground, interacting with our members to establish the state of programs introduced by Aviation companies to comply with the COVID – 19 National Lockdown with a central view of containing the spread of this pandemic as employers reactivate some of their operational activities.
We note the statements made by some of these companies to their employees advising about reactivating their operations in Level 4 of the national lockdown. We recognised the country has moved from level 5 to level 4 and there are requirements for certain operational activities to commence directed to certain essential production activities. However, SATAWU believes such a process require Employers to take into cognisance the Health & Safety of the employees. SATAWU appreciate the recognition by some Aviation establishments risks associated with their decisions and commitment by some to introduce minimum standards and preventative protocols against possible contamination of workers who would be required to return to work whilst some would still be allowed to continue working at home. We call upon Employers in this Industry to commit to the processes of intense consulting processes with the Union in the processes of determining those departments that would be required to return to work from the 4th May 2020. There is a great need for these companies to comply with what is expected of them as directed by the government than confining their interest to see workers returning to work. We demand these companies recognise the effects of risks of returning to their operations given the health – safety challenges as such should not be done with disregard to the broad context of the national lockdown directive.
To this end also in recognising the parameters within which calls made by these companies, we call upon them to convene urgent Consultative meetings with SATAWU before effectively implementing their operations methodologies on the 4th May 2020, where their intentions will be interrogated with a key commitment of preserving government directives and presenting deliverable means to address the risks associated with their decisions to reactivate their operations. We recognise that the Country has entered the new stage of the National lockdown, thus a requirement to implement necessary risk-adjusted plans through which committing to taking a deliberate and cautious approach to safeguard the health & safety of our employees and comply with precautions required to eliminate transmission and further outbreaks in the process.
SATAWU will leave no stone unturned on dealing with the employers who would put their selfish – oriented interests in the processes of reactivating their operations on the expense of employees and will do all it takes to challenge such company who would compromise health and safety of employees in these processes
For more details and media interviews contact:
SATAWU General Secretary: Jack Mazibuko, contact 082 951 1181 or Jack@satawu.org.za
SATAWU Deputy General Secretary: Anele Kiet, contact: 071 021 1903 or Anele@satawu.org.za
SATAWU Aviation National Coordinator: Nelson Lamityi, 076 402 0308 or