Kenya Airways (KQ) yesterday sent home around 140 employees from its technical department for staging “unlawful” strike over higher pay and poor working shifts. The national carrier issued dismissal letters to its technical and engineering staff for taking part in what the airline termed illegal.
“All staff who participated in the illegal strike were terminated from employment with immediate effect and KAA revoked their passes to deter unauthorised entry into the airside,” said KQ chief executive Sebastian Mikosz in a statement confirming the dismissals. It is feared that the move by the airline may well disrupt KQ’s safety operations if a decision is not reached at the earliest, and could put passengers’ lives at risk.
However, Mikosz reiterated that the airline had more than 600 technical staff and only 15 per cent of them participated in the strike. Yesterday a select committee drawn from KQ technical production team, vowed to push on with the strike if the airline’s management led by Mikosz fails to meet their grievances. The said their strike was within the law.
“We are more than willing to meet the management but we will not back down until our issues are addressed,” said Shem Onyango, a licensed KQ engineer and a member of the committee.
The technicians and engineers also want the airline to come clean on basic salaries it pays the workers, this is after KQ’s Mikosz in a letter on Wednesday gave figures which the production team has vehemently disapproved.