The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has said it will join the strike action by South African Airways (SAA) workers set to begin on Friday.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the party said it was sending its “revolutionary solidarity” to the striking workers.
It said, “The EFF not only supports the strike action, we will join in together with our ground forces.”
EFF blames Ramaphosa, Gordhan
EFF blamed President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, whose portfolio includes SAA, for the airline’s “failure.”
“They have been presiding over the government for two years now and SAA, like other SOEs (e.g. Eskom), is continuing to deteriorate. They have no plan to save state institutions and the broader economic conditions of high unemployment,” it said.
The party took a swipe at Ramaphosa’s investment conferences, asking why SAA is planning to retrench workers if the conferences are yielding billions of rand.
It urged workers to unite and fight against retrenchments and said SAA’s failure cannot be blamed on ordinary workers.
‘All airports must be shut down’
EFF concluded, “We call on all progressive forces in South Africa, families and relatives of all workers in SAA to join in the demonstrations and fight against job losses.
“If needs be, all airports must be shut down, until SAA guarantees jobs for all SAA workers.”
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) served SAA with a strike notice on Wednesday.
They are firmly against SAA’s restructuring plans announced earlier this week which the airline said could affect about 900 workers. They have also demanded an 8% salary increase across the board.
On Thursday, SAA announced the cancellation of all domestic, regional and international flights for Friday and Saturday.
However, the cancellations do not affect its partner airlines such as SA Express, Mango and SA Airlink.