Management at South African Airways says it will take legal action against the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA).

The unions have said that reinstated SAA flights were being operated by short-term, and unqualified personnel.

The unions also claimed that staff did not have the experience and warned SAA passengers not to fly SAA as this would be at their own risk.

SAA has refuted these claims at a media briefing at SAA Headquarters in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg.

Interim CEO of SAA Zuks Ramasia says the unions must retract these allegations.

“So, it’s really an insult to all regulators because they can come on board anytime and ask for the licenses for all the crew and why would we put our crew through that or crew that is not qualified? And SAA is mindful of its obligation to comply with all regulations and continue to ensure safe and secure operations.”

Meanwhile, unions and SAA management have failed yet again to reach an agreement despite intervention from the CCMA this weekend. Unions have vowed to go on a secondary strike.

Ramasia says the plan by unions to intensify the strike will halt the local aviation industry and destroy the ailing economy.

“The intended strike will have a serious financial implication to the company; we urged the unions to reconsider the strike which will place SAA’s future in jeopardy. The intention of the secondary strike is to cause disruption, bring all airports to a halt, and create damage to the SA economy. It will affect the competitiveness of the SA economy as a whole.”

Watch Zuks Ramasia address the media: 

Watch NUMSA vow to intensify the strike: