South African Airlines check-in desk at Cape Town International Airport. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) on Thursday said a “no-work-no-pay” principle will apply to employees who are expected to participate in a strike and said it workers who reported for duty would be allowed to work.

“Those who participate in the strike action will not be permitted back to work until the strike is over,” SAA acting General Manager for Human Resources, Martin Kemp, said. 

“The rest of the employees who report for duty will be allowed to work.”

Trade unions the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) said on Wednesday their members would embark on industrial action from Friday morning. Sacca president Zazi Sibanyoni-Mugambi said workers were demanding an 8 percent across the board wage increase, job security for at least three years, insourcing of all services that had been outsourced, which they believe SAA has the capacity to fulfil.  

During negotiations with the unions, cash-strapped SAA had presented a revised offer for employees delivering a 5.9 percent increase subject to the availability of funds from lenders.

The national carrier cancelled all its domestic, regional and international flights scheduled for Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 to minimise the impact of disruptions for its customers. 

“We are putting our customers first and regret the inevitable inconvenience that these cancellations may cause our customers,” said Kemp on Thursday.

“The “no-work-no-pay” principle will apply to any employee participating in the strike action. Employees have been advised that any intimidation or assaults of other employees, damage to SAA property, or acts of misconduct will be dealt with decisively. Picketing rules will apply and these will be posted at the picketing sites.”

Kemp said SAA would continue to spare no effort to work with the unions to find solutions that accommodate the employee demands, safeguard the business and return operations to normal.

African News Agency (ANA)