Johannesburg – Despite operations at South African Airways(SAA) returning to normal the South African Cabin Crew Association(SACCA) said on Thursday that their legal team was working on a review of the interdict against them.
On Wednesday around 200 flight attendants were gathered outside the SAA head office in Kempton Park in protest against low international meal allowances.
"Our members have returned to work to respect the law, our legal team is drafting the review we are just not sure when it will be ready," SACCA President, Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said on Thursday following the interdict granted to SAA by the Labour Court to stop the strike.
Flight attendants are asking for a $170 international meal allowance, an increase from the $130 that they have been receiving for the past six years. SAA's affidavit said that the strike was unprotected and it requested that an order be granted by the court to restrain employees from participating in the strike. The application also requested that an order be made for SACCA to desist from encouraging and promoting participation in the strike.
"We are still asking the company to come to the table and talk, we are ready to resolve this and if not we will continue and go back to the streets if management doesn't want to engage with us," Sibanyoni-Mugambi said.
Speaking to ANA a flight attendant, who wished to remain anonymous, from a premium class cabin at another international airline said: "Our allowances are calculated on average hotel menu prices. So they vary from destination to destination." "We sometimes get $250 say in Atlanta but only $120 in Joburg. But that's also because of exchange rates. It's all relative. If crew in higher cabins are getting more then that's ridiculous. Not fair at all and good on them for striking. We don't do that. We all get equal."
Hundreds of desperate travellers queued at the South African Airways (SAA) ticket sales desks at the OR Tambo International airport after their flights were delayed or cancelled because of the strike by cabin crew. SAA said in a statement on Wednesday that 32 flights were cancelled in total which included 28 domestic, three regional and one international flight. The airline said that their Board of Directors was committed to further engaging with SACCA through a facilitated dispute resolution process over the next two months.
"We are hoping that we will be able to come to an amicable agreement with the union that accommodates Cabin Crew concerns while protecting the financial sustainability of the airline, even before the court date in June," SAA said.
The airline could not be reached on Thursday regarding whether they would be compensating their passengers who were inconvenienced by the strike.
African News Agency