Contracted KQ staff down tools over poor working terms

Contracted KQ staff down tools over poor working terms

More misery has engulfed the national Carrier Kenya Airways after close to 300 of its contracted workers through Career Direction Limited downed their tools citing unfair employment terms from the airline.

Grievances raised by the contracted employees include lesser pay compared to their colleagues in Kenya airways, lack of allowances, a medical cover that does not include family members among others.

The strike coming at a time when the airline is struggling to fly out of its tough financial times having recorded an improved half year loss of Sh5 billion.

However, the contracted employees say they have had enough and their strike is not in an attempt of taking advantage of Kenya Airway’s fragile position.

“We are more frustrated than Kenya Airways. When you tell me that I am trying to frustrate Kenya Airways, a company that I love, a company that I have worked for 6 years, without all these that you have mentioned, surely, how unfair can you be?” questioned one of the contracted staff members.

The contracted workers who serve in the departments ranging from finance, sales to flight operations promised to remain on strike until the management of Kenya Airways accorded them audience or do away with the contractor Career Directions Limited.

But in quick rejoinder, Career Directions management said was not aware of the workers grievances and sabotage of the smooth running of their clients business would prompt legal action as per the labour laws.

The go slow comes at a time the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) has threatened to go on strike to push for the removal of senior managers of the airline.

Despite the government threatening legal action against the pilots if they pull through, KALPA says it has the moral obligation to question and shape the narrative around the airlines recovery and transformation.

“As an association with heavily vested interests in Kenya Airways day to day operations,

KALPA has the moral obligation to question and shape the narrative around the airline’s recovery and transformation. The KALPA Membership will continue to deliberate internally; KALPA is open for deliberations with the Government of Kenya in finding a resolution to the current crisis,” KALPA Secretary General Paull Gichinga said in a statement.

The employment and labour relations court has however temporarily blocked the planned strike by KALPA terming it as illegal.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority through the Director General Captain Gilbert Kibe has said that Kenya Airways has confirmed to them that no matter the outcome, Kenyans are assured of their safety in the air and shall not be compromised.

In Mombasa, majority leader Aden Duale has reiterated that parliament will not allow any bailout plans for KQ unless the top management exits the company.

“The renegotiation of the joint venture between KQ and KLM must be looked at afresh and that is the genesis of the whole problem with KQ,” he said.

Yet again, the government has showed its commitment to the national carrier by directing all governments officials to travel on Kenya Airways as a show of confidence and support to its own.

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Story By Mumbi Warui
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