South African Airways cancels flights amid strike

Hundreds of passengers left stranded at airports across country after strike by thousands of airline’s disgruntled workers

Hassan Isilow   | 15.11.2019
South African Airways cancels flights amid strike


Hundreds of passengers were left stranded at airports across South Africa on Friday after national flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) cancelled its flights due to a strike by thousands of its disgruntled workers.

“The cancellation of flights for two days [Friday and Saturday] follows an announcement by the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) that their members will embark on industrial action from Friday morning,'' the airline said in a staement.

Workers Union NUMSA, which is leading the strike at airports, wants the airline to stop planned retrenchment which could see hundreds of employees losing their jobs.

The Union also wants the airline to put in place a three year guarantee of job security to its more than 3,000 union members -- include cabin-crew members, technical and other airport staff. The workers also want a salary increase of 8% despite the airline offering them a 5.9% increase.

South African Airways which is one of the largest airlines in Africa, operates daily flights across many destinations around the world.

The airline has advised passengers to follow its re-accommodation travel policy on its website to exercise their rights when flights are cancelled.

''Customers are requested not to travel to their departure airports unless in possession of a rebooked itinerary,” said Philip Saunders, the airline’s chief commercial officer.

Experts say the ongoing strike will cost the airline millions of dollars in revenue.

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