South African Airways (SAA) owned airline catering company Air Chefs is set to cut 118 jobs in a move to restore profitability.

This move is part of SAA’s turnaround strategy that affects all companies in the group, including the airline catering firm.

Air Chefs, which currently employs 1,200 jobs and offers growth opportunities through regular training, has taken the retrenchment decision without consulting the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).

NUMSA, a non-profit agency representing workers, received the notice regarding the job cuts from the airline catering arm and is planning to negotiate with SAA chief executive Vuyani Jarana on this.

The union said: “NUMSA demands that any discussion regarding retrenchments should take place within the SAA group which is the mother company. Our members demand that any restructuring must take place at a group level and should not be decentralised.

“We are engaging with the group CEO at SAA Vuyani Jarana on this situation. We shall do all we can to defend workers and their jobs at Air Chefs.

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“The company has requested that consultations on retrenchments take place on the 15th of June 2018 at CCMA. We will continue to update and advise members on the way forward.”

Air Chefs offers a wide range of catering services including inflight, air lounge, staff restaurant, readymade meals and catering for events and functions.

The company serves more than 30,000 meals per day manufactured from its central production units in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.