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Mango dispute threatens holiday plans

Nov 01 2012 07:47 James-Brent Styan

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Cape Town – Low-cost carrier Mango is embroiled in a wage dispute with its pilots that could lead to a strike which could threaten holidaymakers' plans for December.

Mango is a subsidiary of state-owned carrier South African Airways (SAA).

Mango’s pilots want an inflation-linked increase plus an additional 7% for every year for the next three years.

That amounts to around 14% per year.

The pilots are represented by Solidarity. The union represents 60 of the airline’s 65 pilots.

Solidarity spokesperson Nico Strydom said the union declared a dispute with Mango earlier this month, which has now been referred to the CCMA.

“For now there’s no strike. It depends on what happens today at the CCMA. If we can’t reach an agreement, the CCMA wil issue a strike certificate. Following that, Solidarity will first approach our members for a mandate.”

Solidarity said Mango pilots are not remunerated as well as pilots flying for other low-cost carriers in South Africa.

“Mango pilots earn 30% less than pilots at Comair and 45% less than pilots at SAA, even though Mango belongs to SAA,” said Strydom.

He said Mango wants pilots' remuneration to be compared to 1Time Holdings [JSE:1TM].

1Time pilots earn on average 3% more than Mango pilots, but many of the 1Time pilots are contract workers.

“We believe our members should be earning the same as pilots flying for Kulula,” Strydom said.

Mango spokesperson Hein Kaiser said Mango does not negotiate through the media.

In a short statement, he said: “Mango will continue to seek a mutually beneficial outcome, taking into account challenges that face global aviation and the current context of the South African aviation sector.”

Earlier this year SAA pilots accepted a nominal increase following the airline's loss of R1.3bn. That loss included Mango’s results.

 

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