Management at Comair says it is relieved that the threat of a strike by trade union Numsa during the busy festive season has been averted following talks between the two at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on Thursday.

JOHANNESBURG – Comair on Thursday said that the planned strike by its ground staff affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) was averted after both parties met with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) earlier.

"We are delighted that our customers' travel plans will not be inconvenienced over the festive season," Comair executive director airline division, Wrenelle Stander said.   

"While Comair respects the right of employees to strike, we are pleased that we have made sufficient progress on outstanding matters. 

"We look forward to the next meeting with the CCMA scheduled for Friday, 11 January 2019, where salary increases will be discussed."

The union is demanding, among others, a salary hike of 12 percent, a guaranteed 13th cheque, a travelling allowance and to increase the number of shop stewards at the airline, which services domestic routes for British Airways and also operates as a low-cost carrier under its own brand. 

Of the company’s 2 200 employees, 375 are Numsa members.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola was not imdediately available for comment. 

Stander said Comair and Numsa  worked hard with the CCMA's guidance to find agreement on the way forward.

"The well-being of our employees remains our foremost priority. Thank you to the CCMA and our partners for their support and understanding during this time," Stander said. 

African News Agency (ANA)