Comair will go to mediation on Thursday in bid to avert strike

Comair workers have threatened to go on strike from Thursday which would affect Kulula and British Airways flights in the country.
Comair workers have threatened to go on strike from Thursday which would affect Kulula and British Airways flights in the country.
Image: Marianne Schwankhart

Comair has told passengers on Kulula and British Air flights it is implementing contingency measures and "working around the clock" to find a speedy resolution to a wage strike threatened for Thursday next week.

Comair operates and manages BA and Kulula in South Africa. It has 2‚206 South African employees‚ with 373 belonging to the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa). The trade union wants a 12% salary increase and a 13th cheque‚ among other demands.

In a statement on Friday‚ Comair said the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration had promised to mediate the wage dispute on Thursday‚ December 20‚ instead of in January next year‚ as feared earlier this week.

"Comair welcomes this development ... We remain committed to engaging with Numsa to reach a resolution in the best interests of all our stakeholders."

To passengers‚ Comair said: "The current situation with Numsa is not ideal‚ however‚ we would like to assure all our valued customers that we are working around the clock to ensure minimal disruptions to their travel plans."

Its contingency plans include assistance from employees from across its business.

Comair says it will call as many customers as possible 72 hours before departure to facilitate check-in and has provided additional bag-drop counters.

It urged passengers to check their flight status online‚ and to check in online or at the self-service kiosks at the airports.

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