Satawu rejects last minute wage offer

SAA management offered striking employees a 6.4 percent increase which was rejected.

SAA management offered striking employees and 6.4 percent increase which was rejected 26 August 2013. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As the country prepares for strike action in several key industries this week, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu)'s members on strike at the OR Tambo International Airport have just received a new offer from South African Airways (SAA).

But striking workers have rejected the offer of 6.4 percent tabled by management, demanding 6.5 percent.

Satawu's 4000 members downed tools today for higher wages.

The strike mostly involves SAA employees, but it's understood other smaller airlines might also be affected.

The Airports Company of South Africa Limited (ACSA) said there have been no flight delays at the airport, but shop stewards claim some flights have departed late.

Satawu's Matthew Ramosi says the impact is already being felt.

"We've been told a couple of flights are delayed and some of the flights have been cancelled because there are no technicians."

Demonstrators are now protesting at the main gate of the airline's technical park.

The demonstration is gaining momentum as more people arrive.

Ekurhuleni Metro Police are also on the scene to make sure passing cars or employees reporting for work are not intimidated.

Meanwhile, ACSA says Cape Town International Airport has so far been spared the impact of the industrial action.

ACSA's Deborah Francis said, "Everybody has reported to work thus far. SAA technical and ACSA also have contingency plans in place to ensure everything runs normal."