A crippling strike that would have affected Comair services during the festive season has been averted for now. Both parties will meet at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to resolve their pay dispute in January. The airline, which operates domestic routes under British Airways and Kulula, is in a dispute with members of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa). Numsa is a majority union at Comair, meaning that if it embarked on a strike, services would be disrupted nationally, leaving holiday makers stranded. The union is demanding a pay rise of 13%, a guaranteed bonus and travelling allowances, among other benefits. On Thursday Comair said it was relieved that its customers’ travel plans were “unlikely” to be disrupted over the festive season. It also said it would continue engaging Numsa members to resolve the dispute.

However, it said there were contingency plans to minimise disruption if Numsa decided to go ahead with the strike in ...

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