Whether Comair's kulula.com and British Airways brands will be able to start operating again as from 1 December after all, might be impacted by an urgent Labour Court application by the National Union of Metalworkers of (Numsa), says a Fin24 report.

Numsa wants the Labour Court to declare Comair and its business rescue practitioners are acting in a procedurally unfair manner regarding a section 189 retrenchment process which started on 27 October this year.

According to Numsa, the rescue plan foresees the retrenchment of about 400 employees, while, Solidarity claims only 145 employees will be retrenched.

Numsa also wants the court to declare that its members are not bound by the terms of a collective agreement reached in late September this year between Comair, the rescue practitioners, Solidarity and a pilots' association.

It wants the section 189 process to be withdrawn and a fresh notice issued.

It also does not want the collective agreement from September to be relied on.

‘There must be consultation in good faith on all issues contemplated in the Labour Law Act regarding section 189 retrenchment,’ states the union.

Fin24 notes Comair went into business rescue at the beginning of May. The collective agreement also provides for a reduction in workforce and a section 189 consultative process to be shorter than the legally required 60 days.

Derek Mans, Solidarity's organiser of aviation and defence, however, believes Numsa's insistence that the collective agreement which exists between the airline and Solidarity must be abolished, might mean that Comair would lose its business rescue funding.

‘The purpose of the agreement is to assure the continued existence of Comair so that as many jobs as possible can be retained,’ said Mans.

Full Fin24 report