Labour union NUMSA says the planned retrenchments of some 944 South African Airways  (SAA) employees are a ploy by the national carrier to get workers to drop their wage demands.

SAA says it has notified its more than 5 000 workers that it will be embarking on a restructuring process which may lead to job loses.

SAA says the restructuring is part of its strategy to address the ongoing lossmaking by the entity.

The national carrier together with recognised unions may agree to select a facilitator, or ask the CCMA to facilitate the consultation process, which may last till January next year.

NUMSA’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says they are mobilising members to strike.

“When we made our demands on wages they claimed they did not have any money and it would be subject to the bailout.

Last month, SAA granted a 5.9% wage increase to the pilots – and there was not issue there. We don’t understand why they can’t they accommodate workers. The timing of this whole thing is very suspicious. Before you can restructure a company you need to have a new organisational design in place.  We are mobilising members, we have the strike certificate and we intend to embark on the mother of all strikes,” says Hlubi-Majola.

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