SAA pilots threaten to strike

Posted by Leila Stein on 26 September 2019

The South African Airways Pilots Association (Saapa) has told the national carrier that they will go on strike if it doesnt get it’s affairs in order.

According to Fin4, 516 out of a total of 635 pilots responded to an internal survey on the matter with 90% in favour of industrial action.

‘It needs to be understood that the decision to embark on industrial action is not one that the pilots of SAA will take lightly. Indeed, if such a strike is embarked upon, it would be for the first time in SAA’s 80-year history,’ Saapa said in a statement.

The pilots are frustrated with the company’s lack of response to the concerns they’ve raised about the struggling airline. These include the appointment of a skilled permanent CEO, the appointment of an active or retired pilot to the board and a broad skills audit.

This is not the first time pilots have threatened to strike, with pilots bringing up the possibility in June when interim CEO Zukisa Ramasia was appointed.

‘We trust that the company will consider our demands with the seriousness required. If not, we will be left with no choice. Our pilots have indicated that – if necessary – they are willing to embark on lawful industrial action to save the airline. SAAPA’s intention is not to add to SAA’s problems. On the contrary, our goal is to put an end to the continual pressure on the fiscus in the form of bailouts and guarantees and, ultimately, to help put the airline on the road to recovery,’ Saapa said in the statement.

The pilots have not given a date for strike action but have said that they will discuss this possibility should SAA not respond in the given time frame.

Image source: SAA/Twitter

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