SAA asks Labour Court to declare strike illegal
Thirty-two South African Airways (SAA) flights had been cancelled by noon on Wednesday ahead of the May Day long weekend due to the cabin crew strike.
This is up from the six that were reported by SAA on Wednesday morning when aircraft departing from coastal cities were affected.
SAA said the cancelled flights included 28 domestic‚ three regional and one international flight.
The airline said the required number of cabin crew members were currently not available to enable SAA to operate all its flights.
The strike follows a notice of industrial action by one of the unions representing its cabin crew members‚ the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca).
The airline was considering how to accommodate passengers affected by the cancellations. SAA said it would provide further updates on what options were available to its customers.
These included combining some of the cancelled flights to minimise the effect of the delayed flights.
Meanwhile, the national carrier argued in the Labour Court for an urgent interdict to block a strike.
SAA filed papers with the Labour Court‚ calling on it to declare the strike cabin crew employees illegal.
Workers had deserted flights‚ calling for an increase to their international travel allowance.
SAA wants the court to make an urgent order that will force workers to return immediately to work‚ saying there was "complete chaos at the airport".
In its papers‚ it requested that the court declare "the strike ... to not be in compliance with Chapter 6 of the Labour Relations Act and therein unprotected".
It also wants the court to issue an order that would restrain Sacca from participating in the unprotected strike or encouraging workers to participate in the strike.