Kenya Airways on Thursday sent home about 140 engineers and technicians over an “illegal strike”, demanding higher pay and poor working shifts according to an internal memo from the CEO.
“All staff who participated in the illegal strike were terminated from employment with immediate effect and KAA revoked their passes to deter unauthorised entry into the airside,” said KQ chief executive Sebastian Mikosz in a statement confirming the dismissals.
“The illegal strike at Kenya Airways hangar on Tuesday and Wednesday by technical staff (approximately 140) was in bad faith and unacceptable.”
Mikosz said that the national carrier had more than 600 technical staff and only 15 per cent of them participated in the strike.
“Currently, the safety team is carrying out checks in all our hangars as regulated by Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). We have to secure all our hangars to ensure that there are no security risks and damages. The airline is in compliance with the KCAA and EASA regulations to ensure safe operations despite 15 per cent of the certifying staff participating in this illegal strike. Our operations have therefore, not been compromised,” he noted.
On Thursday, a select committee drawn from KQ technical production team, vowed to push on with the strike if the airline’s management led by Mikosz fails to meet their grievances. They said their strike was within the law.
“We are more than willing to meet the management but we will not back down until our issues are addressed,” said Shem Onyango, a licensed KQ engineer and a member of the committee.