Kenya Airways boss disappointed by pilots strike notice
Kenya Airways has responded to a strike notice by the pilots union.
The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) gave a notice of intention to strike within 14 days from October 19, 2022, with Kenya Airways saying that they had had official meetings with union officials, and no matter was recorded as disagreed.
“The notice by the union is surprising and disappointing considering that the management has always engaged union officials in consultative meetings following the agreed upon engagement protocols.”
Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Allan Kilavuka expressed disappointment that union officials had neither used nor exhausted the dispute resolution mechanisms available to them as per the labour laws.
“It is also unfortunate that KALPA has taken this action at a time when KQ is recovering from the covid-19 pandemic and is beginning to record improvement in its operations.”
Adding, “The airline is currently transporting over 250,000 passengers per month who contribute to the recovery of the tourism industry and other sectors of the economy.”
However, KALPA, when issuing their statement, said, “We have made a number of pleas to the KQ leadership to address these matters…However, you and the KQ management team remain unperturbed and unbothered to find solutions to these matters that impact the pilot fraternity.”
In the letter signed by KALPA’s Secretary-General Murithi Nyagah, the pilots said that KQ unilaterally stopped both the employees’ and the employers’ contributions in 2020 and never resumed since.
Additionally, they accused the airline’s management of continued breach of the Kenya Civil Aviation Regulations and certain clauses in their CBA.
“We believe that a major overhaul and the restructuring of the entire KQ board and management team will be necessary if the airline seeks to fly out of the current turbulence,” the union added.
Kenya Airways is among the top five airlines in Africa, considering the number of routes traveled to and passengers ferried, but the airline has consistently reported losses and relies on a government bailout to remain afloat.
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