Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
2 Jun 2022
4:30 pm

Numsa to picket outside Comair’s offices: Want CEO to resign, end of business rescue

Citizen Reporter

Numsa represents about 700 Comair workers.

Picture File: National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members march to Comair offices in Kempton Park, 15 March 2022, demanding the board remove Comair CEO Glenn Orsmond. The Civil Aviation Authority recently suspended Comair's operating licence indefinitely. Picture: Michel Bega

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it’s “shocked and surprised” by the latest developments at Comair and its decision to suspend all of its operations.

Comair suspension

Comair announced that all British Airways and Kulula flights would be suspended from Wednesday, 1 June, until further notice, as its Business Rescue Practitioners (BRP) tried to raise capital following cash flow problems.

The union recently met with the management team of Comair and its CEO Glenn Orsmond to discuss the fate of the airline. However, the meeting left them with more questions than answers.

ALSO READ: Comair suspends British Airways & Kulula flights until further notice

Numsa’s general secretary Irvin Jim said the meeting was very frustrating because Orsmond was at times evasive or unwilling to respond directly to certain questions.

These questions related to whether employees would be paid their salaries during the period of the suspension and how much money Comair needed in order to be financially sustainable, among other matters.

Numsa set to picket

Because of this, Jim said Numsa members would picket outside Comair’s offices in Johannesburg, to call for Orsmond’s to step down and the immediate end of the business rescue process.

Numsa represents about 700 Comair workers.

“It is unfortunate that management chose to engage workers on such important issues without ensuring the BRPs are also present so that we get all the answers.

“As Numsa we have repeatedly called for the immediate resignation of Glenn Orsmond as CEO of the company due to his complete incompetence and lack of vision. Under the poor leadership of Mr Orsmond and the BRP the airline has gone from one crisis to another,” Jim said in a statement.

He said the suspension of the airline had left thousands of passengers deeply inconvenienced and management handled the situation very poorly.

“It is clear that the future of the airline remains very uncertain and we remain doubtful that Orsmond can assist us to find a long-lasting resolution.

“We also have questions about the role of the BRP which have been in charge for almost two years. They were paid exorbitantly and were seemingly unable to foresee this financial hurdle.”

Kulula.com customers on suspended flights had the option of a Travel Bank credit or could request a full refund of their ticket value.

The Travel Bank credit can be used by the passenger or someone else. Affected customers can e-mail MNContactCentre@comair.co.za.

Compiled by Lethabo Malatsi

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