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SAA to restore full flight schedule this weekend

The eight-day strike by Numsa and Sacca has cost the airline about R50 million a day and has left thousands of travellers frustrated.

FILE: SAA said the unions had agreed to a 5.9% wage hike retrospective from 1 April this year. The increases will be paid in February 2020. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - With a wage deal finally signed to end the strike, South African Airways (SAA) has announced it will restore its full flight schedule in stages over the weekend.

The eight-day strike by National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) has cost the airline about R50 million a day and has left thousands of travellers frustrated.

SAA said the unions had agreed to a 5.9% wage hike retrospective from 1 April this year. The increases will be paid in February 2020.

However, the salary increases and back pay will be subject to funds being secured by the airline.

The mood among SAA workers who were on strike was jovial on Friday afternoon.

It’s understood a task team has been set up that will consist of Numsa and Sacca leadership. Their work will be to fight corruption, among other things.

Unions have assured their members at SAA they will get paid at the end of this month.

They said the remaining 2.1% that workers have been demanding is subject to the work of an appointed task team.

While addressing a large group of Numsa and Sacca at Airways Park, Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola praised the unions for being able to resolve the wage problem when the airline failed to find a solution.

“You got your wage increase, comrades. You’ve got your back pay. We’ve also negotiated for more money through the task team. We are doing the work of the state and the shareholder. We are not only saving jobs; we are cleaning up this place.”

Sacca president Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said workers were glad the strike was over.

“They feel like they’ve gained a lot.”

Workers will start returning to their posts from Friday evening.

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