Airlines Business & Finance The Hot List

South African Airways braces for strike

South African Airways employees will go on strike Friday in response to the carriers’ plans to layoff 1,000 workers.

In preparation for the work outage, the airline announced the cancellation of all scheduled flights on Friday and Saturday.

The South African Cabin Crew Association and the National Union of Metallurgical Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) announced the 48-hour strike in response to the possible employee cuts.

SAA apologized on Twitter and asked its customers not to visit its airports during the interruption by the workers. The spokesperson of the airline, Tlali Tlali, told SABC NEWS, that they decided to notify their customers in advance so they can travel on other airlines.

The unions responded, threatening to take action against any attempt by SAA to interrupt their strike.

The president of the workers’ association says, attempts to meet with the airline have failed so far. Which “shows us that SAA has no interest in resolving this strike, so it is sabotaging itself.” 

The unions are demanding pay increases of eight percent for crews because “the pilots have increased their salary by 5.9%, much more than the average worker.”

The strike will “exacerbate rather than ameliorate our problem, and will result in a set of circumstances from which there may well be no recovery,” Acting Chief Executive Officer Zuks Ramasia said in a statement.