The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Wednesday said it “stands in solidarity” with the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) on its decision to strike over members’ demands that South African Airways (SAA) pay bigger meal allowances.
Numsa acting spokesperson Phakhamile Hlubi said the airline could not claim it did not have the money to remunerate workers when it had the money to pay consulting firms like Seabury R59 million to do six months’ work.
SAA cabin crew members embarked on a strike Wednesday morning after their demand for a hike of international meal allowances was not met by the airline’s management.
SAA said it was approaching the courts to seek an interdict to stop the strike, which had already resulted in the cancellation of 32 flights.
Numsa’s Hlubi, however, said: “Cabin crew at SAA have not received an increase in their meal allowance of US$131 (R1 723) since 2011, whilst pilots, who earn generous salary packages, benefit from having their meal allowance of US$170 (R2 236) increased annually.”
“This is blatantly unfair. Workers in the sector depend on the meal allowance as it subsidizes their salaries, they depend on it for survival. SAA can no longer justify denying workers in this sector an increase in the meal allowance when for the past six years, they have not received it.”
Numsa said they could not be silent in the face of such injustice.
“We are currently consulting our members because these issues also affect workers at SAA Technical. We are currently taking a mandate on whether Numsa will join the strike or not.”
– African News Agency