The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) says it may join the ongoing strike at South African Airways (SAA) if its members support the decision.
This comes after SAA workers downed tools to demand an 8% salary increase.
The airline is offering 5%, subject to the availability of funds.
Source: Amina Accram – SABC News
The airline also says it will implement its restructuring plan which will result in the retrenchment of more than 900 staff.
Satawu is among the unions at SAA that have been issued with the strike certificate by the CCMA. However, the union’s spokesperson, Zanele Sabela says the union would prefer to negotiate with SAA, and only embark on a strike as the last resort.
She says Satawu is approaching the labour court to force SAA to comply with the stipulation of Section 189 to start the process of consultations.
“We need to consult with our members before we go on strike to get a mandate, but before that we hope SAA will come to its senses and comes back to the table so that we can also talk about these wage negotiations.”
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General-Secretary of South African Federation of Trade Unions, Zwelenzima Vavi says an urgent solution should be found to the ongoing strike at South African Airways to prevent it from entering its second day.
Vavi is leading hundreds of SAA striking workers outside the company’s headquarters in Kempton Park.
“A strike is always the last resort following the failure all attempt to solve issue in the boardroom. This strike can still be negotiated and settled. Management must revise their offer if they come to the negotiation table with an open mind and a drive to ensure that the strike doesn’t go to the second day.”
SAA protests countrywide
In KwaZulu-Natal, there has frustration among SAA passengers at the King Shaka International Airport in Durban after the airliner cancelled its flights due to the nationwide workers wage strike.
Some passengers had to re-book and get new their flights with other airlines at the last minute. Others are complaining that they are late to reach their destinations. Security has been tightened at the airport.
Airports Company South Africa says contingency plans are in place to assist anyone who may be stranded as s result if the strike.
In the Western Cape, a small group of striking SAA workers has been picketing outside the Cape Town International airport.
The airline’s workers who are affiliated to the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa and the Cabin Crew Association are displaying placards which denounce the SAA board and corruption. They say they are continue their strike until their demands are met.
Meanwhile, in the Eastern Cape, a number of SAA passengers in Port Elizabeth say they have been left disappointed after being redirected to other airlines at the last minute.
A picket by Numsa members outside the airport is gaining momentum.
Passengers say they have been inconvenienced, as they now have to make alternative arrangements for shuttle services or postpone their meetings.
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