23 July 2013 – ITF affiliate South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) announced strike action for last Thursday following a dispute over wage increases with South African Airlines (SAA).
SATAWU announced its intention to strike earlier this month, and was given a strike certificate by the labour court effective from Thursday 11 July. SATAWU had hoped to avoid taking strike action, and several promising meetings were had with SAA management.
Having asked for a moderate pay increase, union leadership report that airline management went on to unilaterally implement a lower pay increase last weekend.
SATAWU national aviation sector coordinator Matthew Ramosie commented before the strike: “As SATAWU leadership we view this act of management as undermining SATAWU and its members at large, and we took a strong decision that if management can afford to pay other departments way above, our initial pay demand is reasonable and it is possible for the company to meet this demand.
“We have already notified the company that on 18 July 2013 it will be tools down.”
ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho added that management had made a mess of the entire negotiating process with its undermining behaviour. He added that SATAWU had been left with no choice but to take industrial action.