Thu. May 23rd, 2019

Comair strike: Labour Court halts Numsa protest plans

British Airways UK to South Africa flightsNumsa says they are awaiting an explanation from the Labour Court on its decision.

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The Labour Court of South Africa, in Johannesburg, has ruled in favour of Comair, forcing the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) to halt their protest plans.

As reported by EWN, the trade union, which represents a fraction of the aviation company’s 2 000-plus employees, had threatened to take their disgruntlement to the streets after both parties failed to reach consensus in wage negotiations.

Comair strike: What prompted the protest plans?

In their application to halt Numsa’s protests, Comair revealed that the wage disputes originate from the “salary anomalies of 21 employees hired prior to 2009 being paid higher than the agreed applicable salary scale.”

“Numsa is only willing to consider increasing salaries for the entire bargaining unit to match those of the highest-paid ‘outlier’. Comair has made various proposals to bring the ‘outliers’ into the agreed salary band, all of which has been rejected by the Union,” the aviation company had noted in a statement.

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According to Numsa, however, it is not fair that Comair refuses to pay employees who perform similar duties equally.

The planned protests would have done little damage to the low-cost airline’s operations, Comair CEO, Wrenelle Stander confirmed.

“Comair had put comprehensive contingency plans in place in case the strike had gone ahead.

“These included employees from around the business volunteering to assist at airports, pro-actively contacting customers to facilitate check-in and providing additional bag-drop counters,” the aviation company noted in a statement.

Numsa wants an explanation from the Labour Court

Stander, reacting to the judgment, stated that there was no need for protest action when the matter could have easily been resolved through proactive negotiation.

“We value our employees and respect their right to strike however, would always prefer to reach a mutually acceptable solution. We will continue to engage the union,” he said.

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Numsa, however, has not accepted the ruling. The trade union called for the Labour Court to provide reasons for why it overlooked the cries of the people.

“This week, we’re also expecting the Labour Court to furnish us with reasons for granting Comair a temporary interdict for the strike.

“This explanation will assist us to make a final decision on a possible way forward. And, of course, we’ll have to consult our members as well for a mandate,” Numsa spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola stated.

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