Thousands of local and international commuters could be left stranded as National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) reached a deadlock in wage negotiations with South African Airways (SAA).

The unions want an 8% wage increase while SAA has offered 5,9% to be paid in March 2020.

Over 3000 workers will down tools starting from 4am when the morning shift is expected to start.

The strike will affect SAA technical, cabin crew and other staff members associated to the unions.

SAA this week cited financial constraints and announced retrenchments of more than 900 staff members as a strategy to fix the airline. It further added that the strike action could further cripple the state-owned airline.

SAA says they will be making losses of R50 million a day as a result of the strike.

Meanwhile, SACCA has slammed SAA’s tactics after announcing that the indefinite strike is on starting¬† Friday morning.

SACCA President, Zazi Nsibanyoni Mugambi, addressed journalists outside Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

“We must make this very clear it’s gonna cost R 50 million a day, however, they are willing to redirect that money to cancelling flights. Let me just articulate R50 million a day, two days equals to what they would have paid us for a year. If that’s not ridiculous I don’t know what is and I think management is taking us for a ride and the employees can see that so we are going out on strike tomorrow for an indefinite time.”

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