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Aviation workers issue strike notice over Kenya Airways' JKIA takeover plan

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The Kenya Airports Authority wants Aerotech to vacate the facility. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A workers lobby has issued a strike notice in protest against Kenya Airways' #ticker:KQ planned takeover of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) says they will go on strike in the next seven days, saying the planned takeover of JKIA by KQ will render them jobless.

“Pursuant to the Labour Relations Act of 2007, part X section 76, we are issuing a seven-day strike notice from the date herein,” Kawu secretary- general Moss Ndiema said in a letter dated January 29, 2019 to members and KAA management.

“We will fight the process in every forum until Jonny Andersen leaves KAA,” he added.

Ground staff

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The looming industrial strike he said, will include ground staff at JKIA.

Duty-free shops, inflight functions and cargo operations will also be expected to down their tolls in the planned industrial strike starting next Tuesday.

Kenya Airways has proposed the formation of a subsidiary dedicated to managing operations at JKIA for a concession period of 30 years.

Grand plan

KQ’s plan, contained in its Privately Initiated Investment Proposal (PIIP), includes the creation a special purpose vehicle (SPV) — a unit of a company which is shielded from the parent firm’s financial risk — to operate, maintain and develop JKIA.

Should KAA grant the permission, the national carrier will merge with the State-owned authority as part of a grand plan to turn around its business and cement Nairobi’s status as a regional transport hub.

The move will also expand the range of the airline's offerings to ground handling, warehousing, maintenance, catering and cargo services.

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