Comair vows to find speedy resolution for Numsa dispute

SA aviation group Comair said in a statement on Friday afternoon that it was "working around the clock" to find a speedy resolution to a dispute with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa).

Comair, which operates as a British Airways franchisee as well as operating low-cost carrier kulula.com, has about 2 200 employees.  

While acknowledging that the current situation with Numsa was "not ideal", Numsa said it was doing everything possible to ensure minimal disruptions to its customers.

"We remain committed to engaging with Numsa to reach a resolution in the best interests of all our stakeholders," said Comair.

It added that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) had worked hard to secure a commissioner to mediate the dispute. The CCMA has confirmed December 20, 2018 for such a mediation as opposed to January 2019, a step welcomed by Comair.

"Comair's number one priority will be the safety and security of its employees and customers. During this time, we will be communicating with our customers using multiple channels," Comair said.

In addition, contingency plans have been put in place.

Fin24 reported on Thursday that Comair staff affiliated to the Numsa, who were planning to strike next week, are set to continue the arbitration process at the CCMA next week, according to Numsa secretary general Irvin Jim.

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 told Fin24 on Friday that it had approached the CCMA for assistance to settle the dispute in the interest of all stakeholders, as allowed for in the recognition agreement between the parties. It also said all Comair staff were paid bonuses annually based on performance of the company.

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