Tebogo Msimanga |
Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) picketed at the offices of Comair on Tuesday to demand that the board remove the CEO Glenn Orsmond. They believe that Comair is where it is today because Orsmond has run the organization into the ground, by implementing such ‘severe cost-cutting measures’, that the safety of the airline has been compromised.
NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said their members have endured massive cuts in salaries, benefits and conditions. “Staffing levels have been reduced from 2500 workers to 1300. Up until last year December, workers were earning only 70% of their salaries. Our members have made huge sacrifices in the name of turning the airline around”.
Comair has been under business rescue since October 2020. Jim reiterated that this is completely unacceptable. “It makes one wonder if it ever intends to run its affairs. We demand that they appoint a CEO with a clear turnaround strategy to save the airline”.
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) suspended the Air Operator Certificate for Comair over the weekend and it has grounded the airline indefinitely until it can demonstrate that it has put in the necessary measures to guarantee the safety of passengers.
Jim said they are not happy with the move made by the SACAA because of the extremely negative impact that indefinite grounding of the airline can have on jobs in the long term.
“We wish to call on the SACAA to act with speed and work with Comair to speedily resolve this situation, so the airline can return to the skies as soon as possible, and workers can go back to work”.Stressed Jim.