Workers at the Polokwane International Airport returned to work on Saturday. This after successful negotiations with the Gateway Airport Authority Limited (Gaal) management on Friday ended their industrial action that started on Thursday.
Claims by striking workers that it was dangerous for aircraft to land at the airport because 85% of all essential workers were on strike were slammed by Thulani Zulu, Chief Executive Officer Gaal. Zulu told Polokwane Observer that the company had put contingency measures in place and it was safe for aircraft to land at the airport.
Workers belonging to the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) comprising essential staff such as aircraft safety, restaurant, maintenance, cleaning, information desk, fire and rescue staff as well as apron charge staff went on a protected strike Thursday, insisting on a higher increase than the 6% offered to them. The lower paid workers settled for a R905 increase per month, a R1 000 housing allowance and a R4 per hour night shift allowance on Friday, while other staff accepted a 6% increase. An improvement in their medical aid benefits could not be negotiated, but Satawu shop steward Kate Matlou said they were happy as they got what they wanted.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS