The Labour Court has reserved judgement on the application brought to it by Numsa to declare that Comair employees are not bound by the new terms of employment agreed to by employees during September.
Numsa’s application, if successful, could stall Comair’s relaunch, putting the livelihoods of all 2 200 employees at risk, if the airline is forced to liquidate.
The collective agreement, which Numsa is trying to overturn, was a suspensive condition of Comair’s business rescue plan and was signed in September by parties representing 50% + 1 of Comair employees. Employees were asked to waive their right to claim for salary payments for the period that the airline was grounded (April onwards) and also, allegedly, to take a 30% pay cut going forward. The plan also outlined the cutting of another 400 jobs.
Numsa alleges that, in order to secure a majority vote for the collective agreement, Comair threatened its employees with liquidation and encouraged them to resign from Numsa and join labour union, Solidarity, which had agreed to the terms of the agreement. Numsa says its members resigned from Numsa out of fear and that the business rescue practitioners are acting in a manner that is procedurally unfair with respect to Section 189A processes.
A spokesperson from Comair told Travel News that no judgement had been made and that the judge had not given an indication on when he would pronounce.
This is a developing story. Travel News will publish further updates as they are received.