Court grants Air Chefs interdict to stop in-flight catering strike

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa confirmed on Monday that the Johannesburg Labour Court has granted Air Chefs an interdict preventing the union from embarking on a strike which would have seen airline food and catering staff withdrawing their labour.

Numsa threatened to strike to break a deadlock with the SAA subsidiary over the alleged non-payment of anniversary bonuses. Air Chefs, in response, applied for an interdict to prevent the strike, which the court heard on Monday.

"[The ruling] means that we may not embark on the strike for now as it will not be legally protected," said Numsa in a statement. The two sides will return to court in late November to argued why the interim order should not be made permanent. 

The union said it would study the ruling and hoped to reverse the decision. It criticised the decision by Air Chefs to apply for an interdict at what it said was a late stage, saying its members needed to be able to exercise their right to strike.

SAA had said on Sunday that Air Chefs had "contingencies" in place to allow catering services to continue if the strike did take place. 

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