Economy

Reprieve for KAA as court stops airport workers strike

kawu

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

Summary

  • A High Court judge has suspended an airport workers' strike that was called to protest reduced pay increases by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) until the case is heard and determined.
  • This effectively gives the state corporation a temporary reprieve from a labour headache that was going to disrupt operations across all airports in Kenya, and sink it deeper into losses.
  • KAA had sought orders from the court to stop the strike saying that the planned industrial action is illegal.

A High Court judge has suspended an airport workers' strike that was called to protest reduced pay increases by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) until the case is heard and determined.

Lady Justice Monica Mbaru issued the orders last week Thursday barring the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (Kawu) from going on a planned strike until a suit that was filed by KAA is dispensed with.

This effectively gives the state corporation a temporary reprieve from a labour headache that was going to disrupt operations across all airports in Kenya, and sink it deeper into losses.

KAA had sought orders from the court to stop the strike saying that the planned industrial action is illegal.

It also said the strike would have a devastating effect on the economy and the entire aviation industry.

The union wanted to be awarded a basic salary increment of 13 percent for the duration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (2016-2019) in addition to annual raise in a deal whose implementation has been delayed partly due to Covid-19 disruptions.

Because of the standoff, the union had asked members to down their tools, a development that prompted the aviation authority to seek the court’s intervention.

KAA board had proposed to increase unionisable workers’ salaries by 6 percent yearly from 2016 to 2019 translating to a total cost of Sh231.3million.

The move was aimed at preserving cash at the cash-strapped authority.

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