KQ faults order on rehiring of 130 engineers

A Kenya Airways plane at JKIA in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A Kenya Airways plane at JKIA in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ management has faulted a ruling by the Employment and Labour Relations Court, which Monday reinstated its sacked engineers and technicians.

The firm argued that Justice Hellen Wasilwa arrived at her decision without the requisite input by a safety expert.

The judge, when making her ruling, stated it is unsafe for the public to fly in unserviced aircraft, hence the order that the over 130 sacked employees be reinstated as the case is heard and determined.

“I direct that Kenya Airways immediately reinstates the sacked employees pending hearing and determination of the case,” Lady Justice Wasilwa ruled.

“This matter does not only involve the employees, but it also affects the safety of the public using the aircraft.”

KQ, as the airline is known by its international code, last month sacked over 130 engineers and technicians after they went on a strike demanding better remuneration, prompting the affected staff to go to court challenging the decision.

The national carrier, however, maintains that, despite its technical department being thinner, all its aircraft are adequately serviced by over 500 technicians who are still at work.

“KQ will respect the court order even as we consult with our lawyers on our next course of action,” said Sebastian Mikosz, Kenya Airways CEO.

“What we do not understand is how the conclusion on our airline’s safety was arrived at despite the fact that no safety expert was called to give their opinion. KQ was also not heard.”

KQ’s lawyer yesterday requested the court to give them up to today to file a response in the case. This request was granted.

The workers, through their lawyer Dismas Wambola, argued that on November 29 Kenya Airways purported to summarily dismiss them for allegedly participating in an unprotected strike. on that day.