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Kenya Airways advertises striking pilots’ jobs instead of addressing grievances

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Nov 08, 2022 - 02:44 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ), said Monday that it will no longer hold talks with striking pilots and has advertised their jobs to replace them as a crippling strike entered its third day.

The airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Allan Kilavuka, said that over 10,000 people were stranded due to the strike, which is currently costing the airline 300 million Kenyan shillings ($2.4 million) a day in losses.

“We want them to go back to work before we can talk to the pilots. It is too late for talks. Either they come to work or we replace them,” Kilavuka told a news conference in Nairobi.

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA), the main pilots union, said Monday that their members are not going back to work until their grievances are met and added that they are open for negotiations.

“Despite all their non-committal actions to resolve the stalemate, we urge the KQ management to come to the table and negotiate with an open mind,” KALPA’s General Secretary Murithi Nyagah said in a statement.

KQ said that 47 flights were cancelled on Monday as 130 pilots registered as being unfit to fly.

After suffering significant losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Kenya Airways is currently experiencing some of its worst turbulence.

The grievances that pilots want to be addressed include reinstating a provident fund that was suspended during the coronavirus pandemic. They are also calling for the handling of alleged clandestine governance and leadership issues in the company.

In addition, the pilots want the airline to execute pay agreements as agreed without further delay. Some pilots argue that there is victimization of members of the union and they want the board and management fired for the challenges they are facing.

Kenya Airways flies more than 4 million passengers to 42 destinations annually, 35 of which are in Africa.

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