SAA approaches court to interdict cabin crew strike

SAA says it’s exploring a few contingency plans in order to reduce the impact of the demonstration.

FILE: SAA planes. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Airways (SAA) says it is approaching the court to interdict the cabin crew strike which has affected its services.

Striking SAA cabin crew say they’ve received notice from the airline informing them of its application for a court interdict to end the strike.

Employees affiliated to the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) are demanding a $170 a day meal allowance when working overseas.

They currently receive $131, which they say has not been increased in the last six years.

SAA says it’s exploring a few contingency plans in order to reduce the impact of the demonstration.

The airline says it is communicating with passengers who have been affected by Wednesday morning’s strike.

The airline says that for now, four domestic flights have been cancelled and two have been delayed and it’s putting contingency plans in place in order to minimise the impact on operations.

SAA’s Tladi Tladi says that at this stage international flights have not been affected.

"Because the international flights and the regional flights are inbound, all operations are normal in so far as that’s concerned.

"We’ll have to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis and we’ll also invoke certain measures in terms of our contingency plans."

Tladi adds: "These options include combining flights in case there have been delays on some other flights as well as exploring the possibility of accommodating our passengers on the partner airlines that could be operating on the routes that are affected at this stage."

Talks between SAA management and the union reached a deadlock on Tuesday night.

Sacca's treasurer Gift Bilankulu says its cabin crew members are determined to continue striking until they get more money for food when working overseas, even if international flights are grounded.

Union leaders are now at the labour court in Braamfontein opposing the application for an urgent interdict to end the strike.

Sacca says its demonstration is legal, adding that SAA has no grounds to stop it.