The National Union of Metal Workers plans to march to the department of employment and labour in Pretoria on Wednesday. Workers in the aviation sector and Putco employees are expected to join the march.
This comes after Airchefs apparently reneged on a promise to pay staff salaries from April 2020 to July 2021. Numsa’s national spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said that workers relied on UIF TERS payouts to survive.
“Unfortunately, the UIF TERS payment system is completely chaotic,” said Hlubi-Majola.
Only 218 employees managed to access these funds between October 2020 and March 2021 out of 1,200.
Numsa members are not the only ones struggling with the UIF TERS process. National hospitality association Fedhasa said their members were also struggling to get payments.
Fedhasa members said the call centre was plagued with connectivity issues, and the staff seems ill-equipped and poorly trained to deal with inquiries. The most common cause of the bottleneck appears to be SARS errors.
“Minister Thulas Nxesi must account for this failure. The chaotic state of the UIF falls squarely on his shoulders,” said Hlubi-Majola.
Meanwhile, Numsa said while Airchefs had agreed to pay all outstanding salaries by 25 August during CCMA consultations, it has now apparently backtracked and reportedly said it would only pay salaries for this month.
Numsa insists that Airchef has the financial capacity to pay salaries in full, but it chooses to recapitalise the company at staff expense.
“Airchefs is expected to receive R218 million from the department of public enterprises. Workers are owed R107 million in salaries,” said Hlubi-Majola.
Attempts to contact AirChef were unsuccessful.