South Africa-Aviation-Strike

S/Africa's aviation sector in limbo as unions threaten to expand strike

APA-Johannesburg (South Africa)

South African Airways passengers will have to endure more delays and cancellations after the airline’s workers vowed on Sunday to continue with their work stoppage and expand the industrial action it to include other employees from the aviation sector.

The workers, who are represented by the National Union of Metalworkers f South African (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA), met the SAA management on Saturday to discuss their differences but the meeting ended without solving the issues.

NUMSA took a swipe against SAA management on Sunday for alleged insincerity during talks to resolve the impasse.

The airline has offered the employee a salary hike of 5.9 percent against demands for an eight percent increment.

The question of outsourcing is also another contention, with the workers saying there was no need for the airline to use outsiders when it had enough expertise within the organisation. 

SAA’s announcement to retrench 1,000 workers is another bone of contention with the workers, and so are procurement procedures at the airline which the employees claim has left the flag carrier at the mercy of over-pricing by unscrupulous suppliers in collusion with corrupt managers.

Due to the failure of the talks, NUMSA on Sunday said it would embark on an urgent secondary strike that would bring the country’s aviation sector to a standstill.

This would include other subsidiaries of the SAA, NUMSA spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola in a statement said.

“Both NUMSA and SACCA have resolved that the strike must be intensified… NUMSA is in the process of consulting workers for a secondary strike in aviation. We have begun this consultation with various entities,” Hlubi-Majola said.

She said the expanded strike is expected to include employees from the Civil Aviation Authority, Airports Company South Africa and airlines such as Mango, Safair, SAA Express and Comair.

NM/jn/APA

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