Finweek English Edition - - COVER -

Sol­i­dar­ity rep­re­sents 210 of the 389 cabin-crew mem­bers.

Derek Mans, Sol­i­dar­ity’s trade union of­fi­cial for avi­a­tion, said that the “ti cket ” (strike cer­tifi­cate) had been is­sued.

The union has been tr ying to ne­go­ti­ate with Co­mair since Septem­ber but the dis­pute was ul­ti­mately re­ferred to the Com­mis­sion for Con­cil­i­a­tion, Me­di­a­tion and Arbitration (CCMA).

The CCMA ruled that Co­mair and Sol­i­dar­ity should con­tinue ne­go­ti­at­ing, with talks be­ing re­sumed on 22 Jan­uary.

Last week, Co­mair CEO Erik Ven­ter was un­con­cerned about the pos­si­bil­ity of a strike, say­ing that he felt there was lit­tle support for the move. “This is a nor­mal pres­suris­ing tac­tic.”

How­ever, should the “worst-case sce­nario” hap­pen, said Ven­ter, Co­mair had backup staff who could pick up the slack should a small num­ber of peo­ple go on strike.

If the num­bers were sig­nif­i­cant, Ven­ter said that fewer flights would op­er­ate. But he was sure the air­line would not be grounded.

Sol­i­dar­ity said that Co­mair’s in­creas­ingly strong fi­nan­cial po­si­tion over the past two years meant the company was in a po­si­tion to be gen­er­ous. In 2012 cabin crew signed a three­year agree­ment for­feit­ing an in­crease in the first year as the company was bat­tling fi­nan­cially. Ven­ter took home in 2013.


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