More labour trouble for Kenya Airways as unions again get the better of hapless management


(Posted 17th February 2020)

Aviation unions in Kenya are accusing the Kenya Airways’ management to be in contempt of court, claiming illegal recruitment of part time staff at wages below those stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement between themselves and Kenya’s national airline. The unions claim that injunctions against such action has been duly served on the airline already back in December last year.
Planned redundancies, announced last month by the acting management of the company, were stopped in their tracks when a competent court issued an injunction against Kenya Airways, until a hearing of the case brought against them can be heard – due on the 26th of February.
The failed former CEO of Kenya Airways has left the airline with a heavy burden to sort out his mess‘ commented a regular source close to the airline before adding ‘He messed up his relations with the unions with name calling and statements which impact he never understood and then wondered why management staff relations were at rock bottom when he quit KQ‘.
The Kenyan government, trying to buy back all the shares held by institutional and private shareholders, is now faced with yet more rounds of court action by the key unions against the airline, which for the last couple of years has been not just deep in the red but been termed ‘technically bankrupt‘.
Added a leading travel agent when asked about Kenya Airways’ immediate future: ‘RwandAir, Air Tanzania and now even Uganda Airlines have all taken market share from Kenya Airways, and on routes which years ago earned KQ the most money per passenger and mile flown. When these previously very profitable routes now face pressure from competition, over service, punctuality and very important fares, that cannot be good for their bottom line. I told you before, the former CEO Sebastian Mikosz really failed to embrace travel agencies and none of us were sorry to see him go. But those he left behind have to carry the burden now of his many wrong decisions and I pity them. We do need Kenya Airways in Kenya and East Africa and in fact Africa, but the way the airline has been run does not bode well for its future‘.

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