Mango faces pilot strike threat

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South African low-cost carrier Mango Airlines is facing the threat of strike action by pilots after talks with union Solidarity over wage increases broke down.

The union accuses Mango of reneging on a commitment it made in 2011 to guarantee minimum pay increases for pilots each year through to 2014 to bring their salaries into line with other South African low-cost carriers.

“The increase Mango is offering at the moment would mean that its pilots would still earn approximately 16% less than their peers at the other low-cost airlines in the industry. This is in breach of the parity principle in the 2011 agreement which still applies. Negotiations are deadlocked and a strike certificate was issued to Solidarity,” the union says.

Solidarity has been in talks with the South African Airways subsidiary since November 2012, at the instigation of South Africa’s labour mediator.

The union says it is now meeting with members to discuss how best to proceed, but emphasises that it wanted to avoid strike action if possible.