17 April 2019

Strike Notice: Comair (British Airways & Kulula) puts contingency plans in place! [update]

update (18 April 2019): Comair just announced that due to a Labour Court temporary interdict the striking NUMSA ground staff are required to return to work.

update (18 April 2019): Comair is pro-actively calling as many customers as possible 72 hours before departure to facilitate check in and is providing additional bag-drop counters. Customers are advised to check-in online or use the airport kiosks and to drop bags at the dedicated fast-bag-drop counters.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has issued Comair, which operates British Airways' domestic routes in South Africa  and also operates as a low-cost carrier under its own kulula.com brand, with a strike notice. This allows those airport ground staff represented by NUMSA to strike from 13:00 on 18 April 2019. Just over 700 of Comair's 2 200 airport ground staff are NUMSA members. NUMSA represents just over 50% of Comair's 700 airport ground staff. The airline has a staff complement of 2200 people. According to Comair, the airline has a comprehensive contingency plan in place and intends to continue its daily operations. However, in order to ensure a continuous operation for its customers over the busy Easter period it has approached the Labour Court for an urgent interdict to prevent the strike.

NUMSA's strike notice follows the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) issuing a certificate of non-resolution on 26 March 2019, after the parties were unable to reach an agreement about a salary discrepancy dispute. 

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