Two trade unions on Wednesday threatened to ground all flights of the South African Airways with a massive strike over wage increase and possible retrenchments by the national carrier.
A 48-hour notice to strike has been submitted to the airline, said a statement issued jointly by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association.
The unions said the strikes would start at 4 a.m. local time (2:00 GMT) on Friday, involving cabin crew, check-in staff and technical staff.|
The indefinite strike would ground all SAA flights, said the unions.
Passengers should make alternative arrangements as the strike would likely cause disruptions, the unions said.
The latest development came after the SAA rejected demands for an 8 per cent wage increase and planned to retrench 944 jobs, almost a fifth of its employees.
Cash strapped SAA has relied on government bailouts for continued operation.
Over the past 13 years, the flag carrier has incurred over 28 billion rand (about 1.9 billion US dollars) in cumulative losses.
Its request for a further bailout was dealt a heavy blow recently after the government said it would not extend further support to state owned entities.
Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, announced in October that any further financing would be in the form of loans to be repaid with interest.
The SAA has come under closer parliamentary scrutiny.
Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts said on Wednesday that the carrier has failed to comply with the law by failing to submit annual financial statements for two consecutive years , 2017/18 and 2018/19.
As a state owned entity, the SAA has an obligation to submit annual financial statements on time, despite the consequences, to enable Parliament to conduct its oversight, the committee said.
The committee demanded that the SAA come up with a detailed roadmap to show when the outstanding annual financial statements would be submitted.