File image: Mango airlines. IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Mango airline flight crew have today embarked on a strike, following the company's refusal to renegotiate wage increase. 

This comes after Mango's management have refused to agree to a wage increase of 8.5%. 

The result of this is a strike which sees over one hundred pilots and cabin crew suspending their duties to demonstrate their discord with Mango management. 

According to Deputy General Secretary of Solidarity, Deon Ruyneke, Solidarity has attempted to negotiate wages 4 months prior to today's strike. The case was then referred to the CCMA. 

The conclusion of the CCMA thus forms the basis for the notice of the strike being granted. "We are willing to participate for as long as it takes", says Ruyneke. 

When contacted for comment, Mango crew refused to jeopardise their current standing and asserted that the Solidarity represents all of their concerns.  

Ruyneke declared that despite Mango being one of South Africa's low-cost airlines, Mango pilots are being compensated 23-40% less than the South African Market value. 

He further said that this blatantly goes against the remuneration policy and this also why Solidarity is requesting a 8.5% wage increase. Ruyneke also said that Mango's willingness to offer a feeble 6% wage increase was simply not enough.

In response to Solidarity's calls for negotiations, Mango management has made contact with Solidarity yesterday at 2pm. 

However, a settlement was not agreed upon. 

"They showed disinterest in reaching an agreement," Ruyneke added. 

Solidarity expresses their commitment to reaching a fair wage agreement and said that they are willing to meet with Mango at any time and on any day. 

Cancelled flights

While Mango crew and in a public dispute with the airline, passengers who have booked with the airline are now suffering from interrupted and rescheduled flights. 

According to Mango Airlines Spokesperson, Sergio Dos Santos, there have been a few disruptions today however they have been minimal this morning. 

"Some of our flights have managed to go through and we also have very clear contingency plans. We're working with our remaining pilots and other partners to make sure that people reach their destinations", said Dos Santos. Dos Santos asserted that the airline is prioritising getting people to their destinations, although it may not be on the designated time. However, he did not elaborate on how people will be compensated for cancelled flights. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE