#KenyaAirways – Strike or No Strike, that is now the question



(Posted 02nd November 2022)



As reported by ATCNews before has the Kenya Airline Pilots Association, in short KALPA served a strike notice on the company in October (https://atcnews.org/strike-clouds-over-kenyaairways-as-pilots-union-gives-notice-of-intended-labour-action/).

Kenya Airways, in deep financial troubles and looking at an uncertain future, after the Kenyan government has changed course and taken a planned nationalisation off the drawing board, successfully went to court to get an injunction against the pilots union but as seen in the past, this may not stop industrial action, even by means of pilots using other measures than an outright strike.


This situation alarmed the company and apparently prompted the board of directors – their own future now uncertain as the new government is likely to very soon bring in a fresh leadership – to issue a statement earlier in the day which reads as follows:


The Kenya Airways Board of Directors has noted, with concern, the media communications and correspondence from Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) over the last three weeks on the now court- injuncted industrial strike threat. The Board and Management have, over this period, and with the support of the Ministry of Labour and the Secretary General of Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU), engaged with KALPA in dialogue in the hope that reason would prevail to avert the industrial action.


The Board has unanimously come to the opinion that none of the grievances advanced by KALPA merits an industrial strike and firmly holds that all CBAs must align with the need to restructure the Airline’s operations towards profitability and efficiency.


The Board further notes that KALPA’s demands have changed from grievances about the suspension of the KQ Provident Fund (that equally affects all the airline staff), the Ab Initio Loan fund, Annual Leave, and other issues to outright demands for the resignation/dismissal of the Management team, particularly the CEO, Allan Kilavuka.


The Board reiterates that industrial action is unnecessary at this point, as it will delay and disrupt the financial and operational recovery and cause reputational damage to Kenya Airways. The negative impact will also affect thousands of employees and the vast ecosystem the Airline supports.


The Board underlines its full support and confidence in Mr. Kilavuka and the Management in handling the matters at hand and the Company. The Board also remains committed to supporting Management to make good on the promises made during COVID-19 as the Company’s financial performance improves, evidenced by the resumption of full pay and the ongoing payment of the accrued deferred pay.


The Board thanks employees and stakeholders who continue to fulfil their roles and obligations for the betterment of the Company and themselves. It appreciates KQ staff, who have unequivocally disassociated themselves from this unnecessary strike, and our pilots, who will respect the Court Order and give dialogue a chance.


The well-being of all staff rests on the Company’s ability to recover financially and operationally fully. This can only be achieved if all staff pull in the same direction. The Board calls upon all KQ staff to ignore the illegal strike called by KALPA and to carry out their functions and rosters accordingly.


ATCNews is monitoring the situation and should any information come to light about emerging strike action, will inform readers in a timely manner about the situation on the ground.

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