Home South Africa News Cancellation of domestic SAA flights extended until Monday

Cancellation of domestic SAA flights extended until Monday

An abandoned terminal at OR Tambo international airport amid the SAA strike

The airline’s spokesperson says a revenue loss of R52 million a day is predicted due to the ongoing strike.

South African Airways (SAA) spokesperson Tlali Tlali addressed the media at OR Tambo airport on Friday afternoon on the latest developments regarding the ongoing strike which sees employees picketing over wages and possible job losses.

According to Tlali, the airline is not able to offer other than the 5.9% wage increase, which workers and unions have already rejected. They want an 8% wage increase in December.

“The deadlock is still there. The unions are still sticking to their guns. We are continuing to call on unions to approach the situation with open minds,” he said.

“We must all understand how serious this is. We are exposing ourselves to [a] revenue loss of R52 million a day. If this continues, there will be no winners.
“We want to channel our energies and focus on getting labour to work with us to find a working solution.”

According to Tlali, international SAA flights will resume as of Sunday, while the cancellation of domestic flights will be extended until at least Monday.

Striking workers were joined by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Friday.

The action began after the South African Airways Cabin Crew Association (SACAA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) served the airline with a strike notice for Friday.

Attempts by SAA to negotiate alternatives to the strike failed.

The unions claim that 3,000 of their members will be participating, in the strike which was expected to start at 4 am on Friday morning. Cabin crew, check-in staff, and technical staff will be involved, reported Fin24.

Hundreds of flights have been grounded due to the strike, which has reportedly left some travel-goers stranded.

SAA has 5,146 employees and earlier this week announced plans to retrench up to a fifth of their workers as it battles massive losses, which have piled up to R28 billion.

The unions are protesting the planned retrenchments and unmet wage hike demands, while SAA’s acting CEO Zuks Ramasia has warned that the airline, which is technically insolvent, may not be able to recover from the strike.

The company has reportedly asked travelers who had flights booked between Friday and Saturday not to turn up at airports and offered them a chance to rebook for free or to fly on other flights operated by partner airlines.

SACCA and Numsa members protest outside SAA head office in Kempton Park

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Kelly Khumalo & Jub Jub

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Source: The Citizen