Aviation lobby faults pay cuts for Kenya Airways staff


Kenya Aviation Workers Union Secretary-General Moss Ndiema. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG

The Kenya Aviation Workers Union (Kawu) has opposed fresh round of pay cuts and non-payment of deferred salaries imposed on Kenya Airway (KQ) workers starting this month, terming the move illegal.

The carrier last week announced a fresh round of pay cuts of up to 30 percent effective this month. KQ also stated that it will not pay deferred salaries since April last year.

The move is aimed at preserving cash amid unrelenting financial challenges facing the airline due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the union in a letter addressed to KQ managing director Allan Kilavuka dated January 15, 2020 has protested the move, arguing that subjecting workers to a reduced pay is in breach of mutual agreements signed by the two parties.

“We will never tire to remind you that you have no mandate or power under the law to purport to alter the terms and conditions of service of unionisable employees without any consultation, negotiation and agreement with the union,” said Kawu secretary-general Moss Ndiema in the letter.

“Therefore, any wish or desire by management to alter any of these terms unilaterally is illegal and ill-advised.”

Mr Kilavuka in a memo addressed to staff last Thursday announced a fresh round of salary cuts by between five percent to 30 percent targeting workers earning Sh45,000 and above.

Workers, at the national carrier that resumed international flights last August after a six-monthsbreak on Covid-19 restrictions, earning below Sh44,999 will however be exempted from the pay cuts.

The pay cuts take effect in January for a period of between six to 12 months.

Mr Kilavuka further indicated that the airline will not pay deferred salaries since last April.

He said the move is informed by the fact that the carrier do not have the financial ability to effect the pays.

Mr Ndiema promised Kawu members that the union will stop at nothing including challenging the matter in court if necessary.