Comair staff affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, who were planning to strike next week, are set to continue the arbitration process at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on Tuesday next week, Numsa secretary general Irvin Jim has said in a statement.
Comair, for its part, says the meeting at the CCMA can only take place in January.
The union’s demands include a 12% salary increase, a guaranteed thirteenth cheque, more shop steward representation, a travel allowance and a shift allowance amounting to 15% of the employee's basic salary.
Comair operates British Airways and Kulula Airways in South Africa. Jim contends that the workers at Comair’s airlines lack appropriate additional benefits to employment, while leaders of the business receive bonuses.
"The lowest paid worker earns R9 000 per month. They are denied a guaranteed thirteenth cheque, and other allowances like the shift allowance and the daily overtime allowance, whilst the executives receive millions in guaranteed bonus pay-outs," said Jim.
Jim said that with the profits Comair enjoyed in the 2017-18, there was no excuse for the company to lavish bonuses on executives while neglecting workers.
"In the last financial year, Comair made a profit of R6bn, which was an improvement of R452m from the previous financial year. Workers are directly responsible for that performance. It was entirely through their efforts that the Executives and the board are experiencing huge profits," Jim said.
He said the union was to pursue a strike next week Thursday, but that the airline asked to enter CCMA mediation instead. He said Numsa would meet with management under the auspices of the CCMA on Tuesday.