George Muchai, Deputy Secretary General of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) in the East African nation of Kenya. The trade union organization has reached an agreement with the airline industry to avoid a strike., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Nairobi Star (Nairobi)
Kenya Airways Strikes Pay Deal With Union
10 August 2011
Kenya Airways signed two Collective Bargaining Agreements with its workers union on Monday evening in a move to mend strained relations with employees who had threatened to go on strike.The first one covers 2008 to 2010 and the second one 2010 to 2012. This followed a meeting arbitrated by Central Organization of Trade Unions and Federation of Kenya Employers.
The first CBA will see KQ's unionisable employees get a 25 per cent salary and wage increase backdated to 2008 while the new CBA will have a 20 per cent raise. The two CBAs marks the end of a week long go-slow called by the Aviation and Allied Workers Union to protest a myriad of work issues. "Our morale has been boosted by this (CBA) document, let's go back to business," remarked AAWU Secretary General Nicholas Baraza.
KQ Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni said it took long to strike a deal because some contentious issues had to be addressed. He refuted claims that the airline was planning to retrench some staff. "We are an airline that is growing and there is nothing like redundancy........we are working to double size of the airline and so we are busy recruiting," explained Naikuni.
As part of its plans to enhance operations amid expansion, KQ is at the early stages of launching a subsidiary airline called Jambo Jet to increase competitiveness especially in the regional routes. "We want to work in a way that works for us by looking at our cost structure. The requirements for an international airline are very different from that of a local airline," noted Naikuni.
Jambo Jet has already been registered as a company but the finer details of establishment of the airline are being worked on. KQ said it was too early for it to divulge more details of operations of the planned subsidiary.