The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have served South African Airways (SAA) and SAA Technical (SAAT) with a 48-hour notice to strike.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, Numsa and Sacca said they would embark “on the mother of all strikes at all SAA and SAAT operations nationally, beginning on Friday morning on the 15th November at 4am”.
Members of the airline’s cabin crew, check-in, ticket sales, head office, technical staff and ground staff are expected to participate in the strike, the statement reads.
“There are likely to be disruptions and therefore we advise members of the public to make alternative arrangements if they have booked flights with SAA.”
The strike is in relation to wages, after the unions deadlocked with SAA over their wage demands.
Numsa and Sacca are demanding:
- An 8% across-the-board wage increase
- Job security for at least three years
- Insourcing of all services which are outsourced, and which SAA has the capacity to fulfil, eg security, cleaning, IT, ground-handling, and logistics.
Numsa and Sacca accused the management at the airline of responding to these demands by serving their members with an intention to retrench and restructure.
“They claim that they cannot meet our demands because there is not enough money and that the dismissal of 944 workers will save the airline R700 million, and ensure its survival.”
However, the unions said they rejected this explanation and were of the view that the intention to restructure and retrench was an attempt to force workers to drop their wage demands.
The unions blamed those tasked with leading SAA for deliberately creating the airline’s financial crisis and called for the removal of its board.
They also rejected the claim by the board that their intended strike was meant to collapse SAA so that it could be placed under liquidation.
(C0mpiled by Makhosandile Zulu)