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SAA workers strike update

Photo credit: BusinessLIVE

By BO Staff Writer

South African Airways (SAA) workers are demanding a rise of 8 % in wages; insourcing of workers; and the ending of all retrenchments. Following unsuccessful negotiations on their demands they have been have picketing outside the SAA Kempton Park head office since Friday, 15 November 2019. They have further undertaken to continue striking until all their demands have been met by the SAA.

Save for international flights which will continue to operate from Sunday, all domestic and local flights have been cancelled by SAA until Monday. This situation prevails due to the pressure put on the SAA by the strikers.

In the meantime, the national carrier is offering a pay increase of 5,9% instead of the 8% demanded by workers.

Irvin Jim, the general secretary of Numsa, has urged the striking workers to continue with the struggle for a living wage.

“We want them to come to the table and offer wages for workers. They must increase wages for workers. This is what we’re saying”, he said to workers outside the head office of SAA in Kempton Park.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali has reportedly indicated that the national carrier was incurring loss to the tune of R52 million daily due to cancellation of flights.

Andile Mngxitama, the President of Black First Land First (BLF), said that his organization supports the SAA workers.

“We have been with them when it was not fashionable. But the workers must not fight for jobs. They must fight to control the state airline so that they can fire the incompetent senior management and end the racist Pilot Evergreen Contracts of the ’90s which eat billions from the airlines revenues and continue forever”, he said.

The National Union for Metwalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) met with the management of SAA on Saturday for further negotiations. The meeting was facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Numsa has announced that it ”will be briefing workers on the Section 150 mediation which took place, under the auspices of the CCMA, between unions and SAA management yesterday.”