South African Airways plane. Picture: Supplied.

South African Airways plane. Picture: Supplied.

National airline South African Airways (SAA) suffered considerable financial losses after a cabin crew members strike last week.

This led to the cancellation of 50 flights on Wednesday, however, at the time, the financially struggling airline could not quantify an exact amount that it had lost.

Members of the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) protested outside the airline’s offices at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg over several labour issues.

The association’s secretary-general Mpho Moikangoa said the strike was an attempt to rectify practices and conditions experienced by its members over the past six years. He added that their complaints had not yielded any helpful outcomes for its members as SAA management was unwilling to negotiate with them.

Sacca asked for higher international meal allowances as members of the association felt they deserved the same meal allowances which pilots received. Currently, cabin crew members are allocated around US$131 for meals, while pilots are allocated around US$170.

The association also complained about the working conditions of crew members and their minimum rest periods.

Strikers return to work

Striking crew members however returned to work by Thursday last week after SAA obtained an interim interdict by the Labour Court which stated that staffers had to return.

Moikangoa said Sacca planned to challenge the interdict and said their legal team was looking at the merits of it.

SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali said the airline’s flight schedules had resumed once the interdict was handed down, however noted that there were still a few operational delays.