NEWS & ANALYSIS

Comair served with strike notice – NUMSA

Dispute is related to wage disparities at the airline, says Irvin Jim

NUMSA serves Comair management with a notice to strike

16 April 2019

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has served Comair with 48-hour notice to strike. This is over a dispute related to wage disparities at the airline. NUMSA has been attempting to resolve this issue with Comair since late last year. One of the decisions taken was that a Working Committee made up of NUMSA members and Comair management would attempt to resolve this issue amicably.

As NUMSA we cannot allow a situation where the principle of equal pay for work of equal value is blatantly violated in the workplace.  We made a proposal to management that they need to agree on a time frame for how they will correct these wage discrepancies. We proposed that management must, over time, increase wages of those who are affected by the gap, so there can be uniformity in their salaries, because they are doing the same kind of work. We have had several meetings with the employer this year where the following proposal was made by us:

1.  All workers with a wage gap of less than R1000, the employer must bridge that gap immediately.

2. All workers with a wage gap of between R1000- R2000, the employer must bridge that gap within 12-month period.

3. All workers with a wage gap of more than R5000, the employer must bridge that gap within a 3-year period.

The management of Comair rejected this. Instead, they have made the outrageous proposal that the high earners should be denied wage increases until the salaries of other workers catch up. This is completely unacceptable! Why should one group of workers be punished and denied wage increases, when it was managements failure which led to the creation of this problem in the first place? This proposal is unfair and this is why we reject it and we are now on the verge of a strike.

The strike will commence on the Thursday, the day before the Easter weekend begins. All Comair flights nationally will be affected. We are calling on management to engage meaningfully with our demands in order to avoid a strike.

Aluta continua!

The struggle continues!

Issued by Irvin Jim, NUMSA General Secretary, 16 April 2019