Talks between SAA and striking unions collapse

Numsa and the Sacca have warned they will intensify the strike across all SAA departments.

FILE: Numsa and South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) members picket at the SAA Airways Park in Kempton Park on 15 November 2019. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Talks between South African Airways (SAA) management and striking workers have collapsed.

Union leaders briefed the media and workers after the parties met on Saturday in an attempt to resolve the strike which began on Friday.

Workers are demanding an 8%wage increase while SAA is offering 5.9%.

According to the National Union for Metalworkers of South Africa’s (Numsa) Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, unions and the national carrier have failed to find each other.

Numsa and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have warned they will intensify the strike across all SAA departments.

"If you have workers at the Civil Aviation Authority on strike, it means that none of the planes are going to fly. It's not just SAA, its all planes", said Hlubi-Majola.

The struggling state owned airline says its working around the clock to introduce additional capacity on the domestic network.


Numsa says it will shut down the aviation sector should SAA fail to meet workers' demands for salaries hikes and other related matters.

Hlubi-Majola said management is not serious about resolving the impasse.

“In response to this deliberate provocation by the SAA board and its executive, Numsa is in the process of consulting workers for a secondary strike in aviation. We are fighting against retrenchment, corruption and privatisation.”

Domestic flights are still grounded while international flights are expected to take to the sky on Sunday. However, its understood a flight to Brazil has been delayed due to lack of experienced technicians.