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Numsa: SAA strike a fight for survival

Numsa's Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said unions would not sit back and watch as workers were used as sacrifices for SAA management's failures and corruption.

Numsa and Sacca members picket at the SAA Airways Park in Kempton Park on 15 November 2019. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Unions said that their fight at South African Airways (SAA) was about the survival of the airline and not its destruction.

Strike-hit SAA may not be able to pay salaries this month with the crippling 7-day-old strike having pushed the national carrier to the brink of financial collapse.

Numsa has served catering company Air Chefs with a strike notice and said it had also secured a strike certificate at British Airways' franchise partner Comair.

Workers were demanding an 8% increase and the halting of retrenchments.

Numsa's Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said unions would not sit back and watch as workers were used as sacrifices for SAA management's failures and corruption.

"Why would we agree to that offer when they're still threatening 944 families with joblessness. This is ultimately what this is about. This for us is a fight for survival."

She said that they've now roped in Air Chefs to join their mass action.

"And if this means roping in other workers in other sectors, which is going to have an impact on not only on SAA but on aviation as a whole, then this is what we must do."

A secondary strike at SAA that could have an impact on catering and may begin on Monday if unions fail to clinch a wage deal with management at the embattled airline.

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