SACAA workers to down tools
Johannesburg - About 200 workers at the SA Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will go on strike on Friday afternoon over wages after management and union Satawu failed to reach an agreement.
Because the notice of intention to strike was served on Wednesday at 17:30, workers could only walk off the job from 17:30 on Friday, said SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) spokesperson Kenneth Monnana.
"Practically the strike will take effect only from Monday as per 48-hour requirement and all our members will participate."
Talks between the union and management deadlocked over management's offer of an across-the-board 9% salary increase, as opposed to the 14% the union wanted. After the union rejected the proposal, the company reverted to its previous offer of 7%.
'Management on another planet'
Satawu said the 9% offer was unacceptable because it would require the union to waive future wage negotiations in favour of an exclusively performance-related system of wage increases.
"Management lives on another planet if they think Satawu would entertain such a sell-out of its members' rights.
"They must drop their arrogant stance and put an acceptable offer on the table."
Following a conciliation process on July 2, a certificate of non-resolution was issued. A meeting on Thursday afternoon, which the CAA had hoped would avert the strike, proved fruitless.
The aviation regulator's spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said in a statement that throughout the negotiation process, management had been applying the principle of fairness and that it remained open to talks that could bring an amicable, speedy resolution to the impasse.
He said only 186 of the CAA's 433 employees would go on strike, the majority of which were support staff.
The CAA had put in places plans to avoid delays caused by the stoppage, said Ledwaba.
Satawu said the strike would affect services like the printing of licences, certificates and related documents. Inspections and accident investigations would also be affected.
"The inspectors play a critical role in the investigation of aviation incidents and accidents.
"A protracted strike has the potential to disrupt the aviation industry, particularly in the event of any aviation incident or accident."
The no-work, no-pay principle would apply.