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South Africa

South African Airways agrees deal to end strike

Striking South African Airways workers protest at an entrance to Cape Town International Airport on 18 November 2019. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 22 (Reuters) - South African Airways (SAA) reached a deal on wages with two striking unions on Friday to end an eight-day strike at the cash-strapped state airline.

Already reliant on government handouts to survive, SAA had to suspend hundreds of flights after the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (NUMSA) walked out on Nov. 15.

SAA said the unions had agreed to a 5.9% wage hike retroactive to April to be paid from next February subject to funds being available.

Consultations on planned job cuts have been deferred until Jan 31, it said.

The unions said they would release a statement shortly.

Separately, SAA on Friday signed a similar wages deal with the National Transport Movement, a union which did not participate in the strike.

The government has spent about 20 billion rand ($1.4 billion) on support for SAA in the past three years.

($1 = 14.6033 rand) (Reporting by Alexander Winning and Emma Rumney; Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Edmund Blair)

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