The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) expressed their “revolutionary solidarity” with the workers striking over planned retrenchments at South African Airways (SAA) in a statement on Thursday, and announced the party’s intention of joining the strike.
“The EFF not only supports the strike action, we will join in together with our ground forces,” says the statement.
The South African Cabin Crew Association and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa have announced that about 3,000 members will embark on industrial action from Friday.
In response, the national carrier cancelled all its domestic, regional and international flights for Friday and Saturday.
This follows the announcement on Monday of a restructuring process that could affect 944 employees and “lead to job losses”.
The EFF blames this all on President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.
“The failure of SAA must be put squarely on the Ramaphosa and Gordhan government; they have failed to stabilise the [state-owned enterprise].
“They have been presiding over the government for two years now and SAA, like other SOEs, is continuing to deteriorate.
“They have no plan to save state institutions and the broader economic conditions of high unemployment.
“Ramaphosa keeps misleading the country with investment conferences that promise billions of rands that no one feels on the ground. If there are billions in investment, why is SAA planning to retrench workers?
“We call on workers to unite and fight against retrenchments.
“The failure of SA cannot be blamed on ordinary workers, they cannot be the ones who take responsibility by losing jobs that support their families and relatives.”
The party ended the statement by calling “on all progressive forces … to join in the demonstrations and fight against the job losses”.
They also threaten to shut down all airports if SAA does not ensure no jobs are lost.
“If need be, all airports must be shut down until SAA guarantees jobs for all SAA workers.”
EFF Statement of Solidarity With SAA Workers. pic.twitter.com/kKbUz0CRLb
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) November 14, 2019
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)