Cape Town - Flights are expected to be disrupted on Monday as members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) go on a wage strike, with pickets outside Cape Town and OR Tambo international airports.
The strike by airport workers follows two months of talks between the union and South African Airways Technical Services (Saat).
Vincent Masoga, Satawu spokesman, said on Sunday that the union wanted a 12-percent wage increase. Saat were offering 6.5 percent.
He said the union would picket outside the airports on Monday morning and that the strike would continue until a new agreement was reached.
Saat is the aircraft maintenance wing of the airline and about 1 300 workers are due to down tools on Monday.
“Our members’ hard work and subsequent good returns for the company have been eroded by the company’s poor management skills, as well as the subsidisation of underperforming entities such as Mango and SAA,” said Masoga.
He warned that domestic flights for Mango, Kulula, SAA Freighter (cargo) and SAA would be affected.
This is the second strike for the union following last month’s strike by cabin crew and ground staff after a failed wage negotiation. During last month’s strike Satawu had demanded an 8.3-percent pay increase. The airline had offered 6.2 percent.
Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) spokeswoman Unathi Batyashe-Fillis said the strikers would not be allowed to protest at any airport.
“Given the status afforded to our airports by the National Key Point Act, Airports Company South Africa has assured passengers that no striking workers will be permitted to demonstrate at any of its airports.
“The company states that, together with SAA, it is monitoring the situation closely across its network of nine airports and has advised that it will utilise its resources to provide support to the airlines in order to minimise any potential operational disruptions.” - Cape Argus