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SAA hopes for speedy resolution to cabin crew strike

SAA was granted an interdict by the Labour Court ordering the workers to return to their posts immediately.

South African Cabin Crew Association members on strike. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) members have been asked to vacate Airways Park at OR Tambo International Airport where they have spent most of the day protesting.

Earlier, South African Airways (SAA) was granted an interdict by the Labour Court ordering the workers to return to their posts immediately.

Thirty-two SAA flights were cancelled on Wednesday as a result of the strike.

The airline's acting Chief Executive Officer Musa Zwane says he's hoping for a speedy resolution with the association.

“Our last communication with the union was at 10:30pm last night, where they completely rejected what the board has proposed and what management has been proposing to them – hence the strike started then at 04:30am.”

The association is demanding that the airline address its demands, chief among them, is an increase in the daily meal allowance from $131 a day to $170.

Association spokesperson Mathew Kleinhans says, “We have to use our meal allowance to complement our salaries, because our salaries are pathetically low. Twenty years senior I don’t even clear R20, 000 and I have to use my meal allowance to supplement my income so I can afford things like a bond. If you go apply for a bond with our salary they laugh at you.”

The protesters at the Airways Park dispersed just moments after their leaders delivered a message from SAA that they should vacate the area.

SA Cabin Crew Association's Mpho Moikangoa says they will continue engaging the airline in an effort to resolve their issues with management.

“We have exhausted everything with all our issues, which is about 13 of them, the meal allowance is an issue that was affecting us every day."

Moikangoa says besides the meal allowance dissatisfaction, SAA has not been able to have clear career path development for workers, and haven’t been complying with some acts governing the relationship between employee and their employer.

Meanwhile, it is not clear if domestic flights which were earlier cancelled will be diverted to Thursday when workers return.

WATCH: No fly zone: SAA cancels 32 flights after crew protest

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)