It is already a widely held view that the strike at SAA is about more than the airline itself.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has gone to war over a range of proxy issues, from the principle of privatising state assets to the ANC’s general economic policy and ideological stance. In all of this, the wage demand of the employees — for a double-inflation increase from a failing company that does not know where the money for salaries over the next few months will come from — is a side order. So is the fact, as far as Numsa is concerned, that the strike will weaken the company further and with it the security of their members’ jobs...

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