Kenya Airways Ltd plans to downsize has been met with criticism from Aviation and Allied Workers Union (AAWU), Kenya’s aviation sector union, who have vowed to fight the job cut strategy of the airlines.
The airline, which had been repeatedly subjected to strike threats by the union in the recent past, has announced that its non-core operations would be outsourced and redundant workers would be let off.
It also said workers willing to retire would also be retired.
Responding to the development, the AAWU has said it would charge the matter to court, if necessarry. The union which has 3800 staffs of Kenya Airways as its members, stated through its head, Perpetua Mpojiwa: “We think what they (Kenya Airways’ management) are doing is just a sideshow because they are sacrificing workers for their failures.”
She questioned the motive of the airline’s decision when it had just announced a $3.6 billion expansion plan, primarily for the purpose of acquiring new planes and inuagurate new routes between Africa and Asia.
The Kenyan airline showed signs of slowing down in June. Its full-year pretax profit plummeted 57 percent due to increase in fuel costs and salaries.
Over the last six years, its paid salaries have more than doubled to 13.4 billion shillings ($155 million) while its workforce rose by just over 16 percent to 4,834.
Kenya Airways, which is 26.73 percent owned by AirFrance KLM, is flag carrier of Kenya. Earlier this month, the airline revealed plans to launch a low-cost subsidiary to handle regional flight operations (Jambo Jet) hinged on low fares and fewer comforts and signalling a more cost-effective structure aimed at strengthening the airline’s competitive edge among budget operators in the aviation industry.
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