Numsa: Comair board must fire CEO Orsmond to show airline is their priority

Earlier, the union handed over a memorandum of demands to Orsmond who is faced with convincing the aviation authority to reinstate Comair’s operating licence, which has been suspended indefinitely due to safety concerns.

Comair CEO Glenn Orsmond. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News

KEMPTON PARK - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said Comair’s board must demonstrate that it had the airline’s best interests at heart by replacing CEO Glenn Orsmond with someone who would improve the company’s performance.

Earlier, the union handed over a memorandum of demands to Orsmond, who is faced with convincing the aviation authority to reinstate Comair’s operating licence, which has been suspended indefinitely due to safety concerns.

Meanwhile, South African Airways (SAA) said because of the suspension of British Airways and Kulula flights, it had increased its capacity to cater for the growing demand for seats on domestic flights.

Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said workers had made endless sacrifices to keep Comair afloat but even then, Orsmond had failed to turn the company around.

“He promised to save 2,500 jobs, instead he used his management skills to cheat us of our benefits, slash salaries and instituted a reactionary and backward collective agreement, which imposed on us. He then signed for 30% salary cuts for six months but that turned into over 12 months.”

WATCH: Numsa members picket outside Comair offices to demand CEO's removal

Responding to calls for his immediate resignation, Orsmond said he cared for workers and that was why flying again was his number one priority.

“We need to be back in the sky to protect our jobs – all of our jobs.”

Numsa insists that unless Orsmond is shown the door, more than 1,300 workers stand to lose their jobs.