FlySafair explains why Solidarity is wrong about pay rise

(Supplied)
(Supplied)

Dublin - FlySafair said Solidarity's views expressed in the media were "misleading and premature" on Wednesday after the trade union accused the low-cost airline of refusing to negotiate with pilots.

According to Derek Mans, Solidarity's organiser in the aviation industry, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) are to decide on the pilots' right to strike.

Mans said it would be in the public interest to have the dispute resolved as soon as possible as the absence of pilots will have a direct impact on FlySafair's core business.

In response to these allegations, FlySafair issued a statement to say that it absolutely recognises Solidarity as far as their rights extend under the Labour Relations Act. However, it said it regards Solidarity's views expressed in the media as "misleading and premature".

FlySafair said it still has to make salary increase proposals for 2016. It also said it will always recognise its employees' right to strike.

According to Wimpie Davidson, director of operations at Safair, FlySafair's holding company, in August 2015 the CCMA granted Solidarity certain organisational rights. According to Davidson, these rights did not include the right to negotiate "substantive issues - which include salary negotiations".

He added that Solidarity was dissatisfied with this outcome and again approached the CCMA, alleging that Safair was refusing to bargain with them.

"The CCMA dismissed the appeal, stating that Solidarity were attempting to exercise organisational rights that the union is not entitled to," said Davidson.

He said that, despite this, Safair has entered into several direct - and what he calls "fruitful" discussions with pilots and crew regarding salaries and other matters.

"FlySafair has grown immensely in the last 19 months, expanding their operating fleet from two aircraft to seven and their schedule from 30 to 202 flights a week," explained Davidson.

"As a result, 74% of Safair pilots only commenced their employment at the agreed salaries, within this period of expansion."


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