Flights, KAA operations unaffected by ongoing workers’ strike

April 8, 2012 12:10 pm
KAA says strike illegal and ‘in bad faith’ /FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7- Operations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (KAA) were undisrupted as the strike by a section of unionisable workers of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) entered the second day.

A spot check by the Capital FM News crew revealed that the airport was operating normally with aircrafts landing while those taking off also did so uninterrupted.

Heavy security comprising officers mainly from the dreaded General Service Unit also kept vigil just incase the workers came in to disrupt operations.

KAA Corporate Affairs Manager Dominic Ngigi has urged the striking workers to obey the law as the strike was already decaled illegal by the industrial court.

“All scheduled flights have taken off and landed on time. We do not foresee any disruption of operations in our airports; as you can observe there are no long queues and cancellations,” he said.

“We talk of obeying the law, when strike is declared illegal and not by KAA (but) by a court then we abide by that directive,” he added.

Ngigi dismissed allegations that the workers were intimidated following the deployment of the GSU officers. He insisted that the move by the union was self defeating as all a matters relating to the CBA will be solved through negotiations.

“A strike in its effect is disruptive; if you are striking you should not come to the Airport….remain at home because you do not come to the airport to strike,” he stated.

He said that KAA had positioned enough personnel at all the key facilities including security screening, fire services, ground flight safety, engineering and maintenance.

Ngigi affirmed that government security agencies that ordinarily operate at all the airports are supporting the various services.

He accused the union of acting unilaterally and in bad faith as Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations were on going with largely successful conclusions.

“The management was therefore perturbed that the union walked out of the negotiations process and on Wednesday 28th of March 2012, issued a strike notice. We had agreed on at least 80 percent of the terms on the CBA and had just a few issues left,” insisted Ngigi who did not want to discus the specifics of the CBA.

He maintained that KAA was by far a fair employer paying Sh63,000 as the entry level salary and emoluments for unionisable staff with a KCSE qualification of grade C without any additional academic and professional qualification.

“With basic entry salary of KSh33, 000, housing allowance of Ksh17, 000, meals and shift allowance of Ksh13, 000. You cannot tell me that on KAA is being unreasonable on their remuneration,” he said adding that employees enjoyed other benefits including free transportation to and from work and Medical cover for themselves plus spouse and up to four children.

Workers who on Friday downed their tools demanding for a 25 percent pay hike on Saturday headed to the Central Organization of Trade Unions COTU where Secretary General Francis Atwoli urged the parties to go back to the negotiating table.


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