Monday, 30 August 2010

Another pay strike at Kenya Airways

A KQ Boeing plane
Another strike by about 3,000 staff of the Kenya Airways (KQ) is looming, exactly a year after another strike threatened to take back the airline into its 2008 loss-making year.

Sources have told this blog that a meeting in Nairobi scheduled for 3pm (12gmt) on 30 August will announce the beginning of a strike to press for better terms.
A statement posted on the Facebook page of the Aviation and Allied Workers Union said ''The strike is now on'', implying that after they agree to call off their strike in August 2009, the carrier has not sorted out the issue.

''The issues are: 1. They want a CBA 2. This is the third year and CBA of 2008 hasn't been concluded. 4. Dismissals. 5 Not honouring fleet agreement. 6. RTWF (not clear what this) 15 Months backdated pay 7 Members are fatigued and need to go on leave,'' the administrator of the page wrote on 26 August. Other sources said the strike will start on 31 August.

Last year, a strike by staff demanding a 130 percent pay rise caused massive flight delays and revenues to the airline.

On 16 Aug, the workers called off their two-day strike after reaching an agreement with management on a pay hike. Reports emerged later saying that the workers admitted that their 130 percent wage increase demand was unrealistic, and changed their demand to a figure of between 34 and 68 percent wage increases for unionised staff. No information has been seen about this.
Striking KQ staff, last year

The strike ended after workers agreed a 20 per cent pay rise. It is not clear what has happened since then.

If the planned strike goes ahead, tourists traveling to Kenya for the June-September annual Wildebeest migration will be grounded.

The profile of the company will also be dented, giving room for other carriers like Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways to make inroads into KQ's major east and West African destinations.

French-Dutch carrier Air France-KLM owns 26 percent of Kenya Airways, while the Kenya government has a 23 percent stake.

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