Numsa and the Sacca have served a 48-hour strike notice on the South African Airways (SAA). Picture: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association(Sacca) have served a 48-hour strike notice on the South African Airways (SAA). 

On Wednesday, Numsa and Sacca said they would embark on a wage strike on Friday. 

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, and which they believe SAA has the capacity to fulfil.  

"Pilots received a 5.9 percent increase and SAA agreed to pay them. Our members are simply demanding their increase as well. They are earning much lower that pilots, which is why they demand 8 percent," Sibanyoni-Mugambi said. 

Sibanyoni-Mugambi said in response to their demands, SAA management served them with an intention to retrench and restructure the airline. 

"The claim that they cannot meet our demands because there is not enough money and that the dismissal of 994 workers will save the airline R700 million, and ensure its survival," said Sibanyoni-Mugambi. 

However, Sibanyoni-Mugambi said they were rejecting the SAA explanation.

"The SAA board and executive management is responsible for the current crisis affecting the airline. Through their actions, they have deliberately destroyed what used to be one of world's best airlines, because of maladministration, rampant looting and corruption," said Sibanyoni-Mugambi. 

Thousands of workers from members of SAA Cabin Crew, check-in, tickets sales, head office, technical staff and ground staff were expected to join the strike on Friday.  

African News Agency (ANA)