A strike is looming in the near future as South African Airways (SAA) announced on Monday that it will soon be retrenching a huge portion of its workforce as part of a restructuring process.

The National Transport Movement Union (NTMU) plans to strike if SAA lets over 900 workers go.

This comes after the airline’s long-standing struggle with debt. The NTMU says that it has researched a number of ways for airlines to remove from its debts but these do not seem to be enough for the pressured flight service company.

Speaking to Cape Talk, National Transport Movement Union president Mashudu Raphetha said they had met with SAA to discuss wages but nothing regarding the retrenchments had been discussed. Raphetha also stated that the company says they currently pay roughly R3-billion to seven different service providers.

It is not clear when the retrenchments will take place but as it stands, a fifth of the airline’s staff could soon be out of a job.

This comes just a few weeks after a number of aircrafts from SAA were recalled to undergo compliance verification causing delays for travellers.

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