JOHANNESBURG: South African Airways (SAA) said it was cancelling all its flights as thousands of workers vowed to press ahead with an indefinite strike the following day, after the troubled national carrier announced a major retrenchment plan.
Around 3,000 workers, including cabin crew, check-in, ticket sales, technical and ground staff, are expected to take part in the open-ended strike starting on Friday, their unions said.
The looming shutdown forced SAA to announce in a late-night statement on Wednesday that it “has cancelled nearly all its domestic, regional and international flights scheduled for Friday, Nov 15 and Saturday, Nov 16”.
“The airline’s key objective is to minimise the impact of disruptions for its customers,” it said.
Unions earlier Wednesday vowed their members would forge ahead with the strike, which the state-owned airline warned could collapse the embattled carrier.
“We are embarking on the mother of all strikes,” Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi, president of the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) told a news conference in Johannesburg.