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Limited SAA domestic flights resume amidst ongoing employee strike

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Strike-hit South African Airways (SAA) resumed limited domestic flights on Thursday, 21 November 2019, days after it commenced limited service to selected international and regional destinations.

The airline resumed flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Durban as well as to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe on Thursday, 21 November 2019.

The move comes after the resumption of flights to six other destinations in Africa and outside the continent earlier this week, the airline said.

The domestic flights are taking place as the industrial action remains in full swing, despite some workers returning to work so that the SAA can mount the limited domestic, regional and international flights.

The 3 000-strong striking workers’ unions have vowed to extend the strike to the SAA’s affiliate airlines to achieve their objectives of higher salaries and better working conditions.

However, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said the airline workers could be at risk of not being paid this month, due to cash shortage in the SAA’s coffers.

A week after the strike, a mediator will continue to hold talks with both sides – the SAA, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association – on Thursday, 21 November 2019, in an effort to bridge the gap between the employers and the workers.

While the minister said his government was committed to saving the airline from collapsing, the NUMSA said there would be “no surrender” to demands for its members during the mediation talks. 

– APA 

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