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Unions confirm SAA strike for Friday

The airline announced that it intends to retrench 945 workers but Satawu said it was not notified.

FILE: On Tuesday, SAA announced that it would cancel nearly all of its international and local flights over the next few days. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Unions have announced they'll go on strike as planned at the South African Airways (SAA) on Friday.

They made the announcement on Thursday afternoon.

The airline announced that it intends to retrench 945 workers but Satawu said it was not notified.

Numsa and the South African Cabin Crew Association rejected SAA’s latest wage offer.

The unions said the latest offer by the airline was an insult and proved the company did not value its workers.

Numsa said it tried to negotiate with SAA but the airline’s management was stubborn.

The unions have rejected the 5.9% offer and are sticking to their demand of an 8% hike across the board.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said: “As we continue to prepare for the strike, we are hopeful we will receive positive feedback from management. Our goal is to save SAA and jobs.”

The SA Cabin Crew Association’s Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said they would not be intimidated by management's claim that this strike would collapse the airline.

Meanwhile, Satawu approached the Labour Court in Johannesburg to stop the planned retrenchments. The union said the manner in which SAA dealt with the issue was unlawful.

“The Labour Relations Act is clear. They need to consult all the unions. We are going to approach the court on an urgent basis,” said Satawu's Zanele Sabela.

Sabela said by approaching the Labour Court, they intended to force SAA to comply with the Labour Relations Act.

“We do need to see their restructuring plan. We don’t know what’s in it and how they came to the number of 945 people who need to go.”

On Tuesday, SAA announced that it would cancel nearly all of its international and local flights over the next few days.

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