Reuters News Agency has reported South African Airways (SAA) has announced a walkout by unions representing more than half of its workforce will cost it 50 million rand (USD 3.36 million) per day and threatens its survival, the news source said.
The unions rejected SAA´s revised wage offer late on Thursday, and are also striking over the carrier´s plans to cut more than 900 jobs in a bid to stem financial losses and end a reliance on state bailouts.
SAA, which has not turned a profit since 2011 and is without a permanent CEO, is currently trying to negotiate funding from banks it needs to stay afloat. Fredericks said the airline would not survive without the money, and the financial impact of the strike could jeopardize the talks.
The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA), who called the SAA strike, said the action will continue until their demands – including an 8% wage hike and job security – are met.