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Kenya

KQ technical staff go-slow grounds flights

The strike has caused delays and cancellation of flights with passengers stranded at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). /FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 – Kenya Airways (KQ) technical department Staff has gone on strike over poor pay as well as seeking a review of their work structure.

The strike has caused delays and cancellation of flights with passengers stranded at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The technical production team wants their pay structures reviewed citing pay discrepancies and adding that the team is the lowest paid locally and internationally.

Moreover, the team indicates that their structure is obsolete with duplication of roles with clear hierarchy.

“We the technical production team has raised issues to the top management of Kenya Airways, however up to date, there has been no commitment on solving the issues raised. To this disappointment we have resolved to picket on Monday until these issues are resolved once and for all,” the team stated.

KQ management has, however, assured passengers that the airline is working tirelessly to ensure normal services resume.

The airline, however, says a majority of the flights are on schedule, with the 51 out of 58 scheduled flights taking off on time.

“Our technical team is a vital part of our business and we are working together to resolve any outstanding issues. We request that you bear with us as we work to normalise our operations and we will keep updating you on our progress,” Kenya Airways said in statement.

The Association of pilots, KALPA, had earlier in October, planned to go on strike that could have paralyzed operations of Kenya Airways if former Kenya Airways Chairman and Outgoing Chief Executive failed to resign.

The trade union, however, had their demands met as former Chairman Denis Awori resigned with the Chief Executive Mbuvi Ngunze to leave office by March 2017.

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READ: Ngunze to quit as KQ Chief Executive by March 2017

Former Safaricom Chief Executive Michael Joseph took over office as the Chairperson with the search for the next CEO ongoing.

Kenya airways made a loss of Sh4.7 billion in half-year ended September 30, 2016, a marked improvement from the Sh11.9 billion loss it posted same period last year.

When he took over as chairman, Joseph admitted restoring the national carrier’s former glory will not be easy, but achievable.

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