Comair Airport Ground Staff, represented by the trade union, United Association of South Africa (UASA), were issued a certificate of non-resolution by the South African Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), relating to ongoing wage negotiations. The certificate to strike was issued on Tuesday, 05 April 2016, after the union declared a deadlock on annual wage negotiations.
The Company have now been served the required 48hr notice on Monday, 11 April 2016, meaning that the Comair Airport Ground Staff, represented by UASA the Union, may exercise their right to strike from Wednesday afternoon, 13 April 2016, 16:40 until the matter has been resolved.
“After concerted attempts to resolve the dispute, it is with great regret that the parties could not reach settlement. We pride ourselves in offering fair remuneration and competitive staff benefits. Comair continuously benchmarks its remuneration costs to ensure the manner in which we remunerate our employees, reflects the dynamics of the market and the economic environment.
We firmly believe in the importance in creating job security, rather than ‘unsustainable quick wins’. The interest and wellbeing of our employees is extremely important to the business and we make substantial investments to ensure the overall wellbeing of our employees.” Erik Venter, Comair’s CEO, says.
The trade union, which has a 58% membership in the airport unit, is requesting a 35% increase over 3 years, while Comair is offering an unconditional 7.5% increase for each of the three years (22,5% over three year period).
Comair has a comprehensive contingency plan in place and intends to continue with its daily operations. “We have every intention to minimise the impact on our customers. We encourage our customers to check-in online or at the self-service kiosks at the airports and to drop their bags at the bag drop counter. We do have a backup team who will assist our customers during the potential disruption, which could potentially be caused as a result of the strike, and we will do our best to minimise the impact on our customers’ travel plans”, says Venter.
He continues; “We would like to give our customers the assurance that every effort will be made to ensure that they remain informed and that we will do all possible to mitigate disruption and inconvenience, as a result of potential industrial action.
Both parties are still open to amicably resolve the dispute during the 48hr notice period.