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No disruptions amid OR Tambo strike

Jan 18 2013 12:15 Sapa

The striking workers are members of the National Transport Movement union. (Picture: Shutterstock)

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Johannesburg - No South African Airways (SAA) flight were affected on Friday as some airline workers embarked on a strike, said officials.

No flights had been cancelled or delayed as a result of the industrial action, SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said in a statement.

"There are a handful of individuals gathered at a parking area outside SAA's head office (in Kempton Park), who from time to time are addressed by their leaders," he said.

The striking workers are members of the National Transport Movement union.

Union members accused airline management of refusing to recognise their union even though they had surpassed the number of candidates needed for it to be validated.

NTM deputy general secretary Liver Mngomezulu said all 1 300 union members were expected to take part in the strike. The airline has about 11 000 employees.

On Thursday, Tlali dismissed unions claims that it had reached the required number of members to be recognised.

"NTM relies on a claim that its membership is more than 1 300. Their membership is inclusive of employee categories that are not provided for in the bargaining forum constitution."

The NTM claimed to be facing a similar problem in the railway industry.

The union said state-owned railway agency, Prasa, was also refusing them recognition even though they had 4 000 members.

Mngomezulu said they were anticipating strike action from their members there on Friday.

"We are expecting all of our members to take part in protests at the agency's head office in Braamfontein and at another protest in Bosman in Pretoria," he said.

Prasa spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said the agency was not expecting any disruptions to train operations.

"Out of our 5 600 employees in Gauteng, only 51 haven't reported for duty this morning," said Mofokeng.

She said NTM needed to follow the right channels in order to have the union recognised.

"They need to have a certain number of members before they can be recognised. They report that they do have these numbers, but we need to first verify these claims," she said.

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