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Joseph says they received a Sh5 million grant to renovate engineering operations and general administration/FILE

Kenya

KQ engineers on a go-slow demanding international salaries

The engineers are demanding their salaries to be benchmarked with international standards/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Kenya Airways Engineers are currently on a go-slow that could potentially delay flights.   

According to a reliable source from the airline, the engineers are demanding for an increase in salaries barely seven months after their salaries were increased.

The engineers are demanding their salaries to be benchmarked with international standards.

“Barely seven months ago, the engineers were added 6o percent of their pay, which they were paid in April and it was backdated to February, now they’re back demanding to be paid more,” the source revealed.

However, the source said operations are fine and minimum delays are expected.

The move is expected to negatively affect the airlines’ return to profitability that has seen it cut costs, with the capital optimization strategy, which includes a reorganization of shareholding.

In it’s half-year results 2018 that ended in September, the national carrier decreased fleet costs by 21.9 percent while overheads decreased by 8.9 percent making it lower its losses by 20.9 percent to 3.8 billion from 4.7 billion same period previous year.

The airline has been battling with strike threats in the recent pasts including one from pilots.

In august KQ signed a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Kenya Airlines Pilot Association (KALPA) that aims at enhancing productivity, ending three years of negotiations.

The new CBA came with no salary increment but instead provides an opportunity for pilots to earn a productivity allowance for more hours worked beyond a certain threshold.

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The move will see more pilots flying thus eliminating the perception of pilot shortages in some fleets and will assist in stemming pilot attrition.

The CBA is valid for one year covering the period of April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 with the implementation subject to registration at the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

KALPA called off a strike in October last year after fruitful discussions with Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph who had just joined following the departure of Dennis Awori.

Apart from remuneration, KALPA also wanted the resignation of the then KQ Managing Director Mbuvi Ngunze who they had termed as inexperienced and lacking capacity to bring the airline back to recovery after taking over from Titus Naikuni.

Mbuvi Ngunze left KQ in March 2017 but is still an advisor to the board.

KALPA had also raised concerns over the two years of revenue loss, questionable recovery strategies that include selling its most valuable assets in a bid to get back to profitability.

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