In order to allow for amicable alternatives to the ongoing impasse between the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) and Kenya Airways, the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) has ended its strike (KQ).
This comes after 400 KQ pilots grounded their aircraft on Saturday in protest of what they perceived as a lack of attention to their complaints, which had an impact on around 10,000 passengers.
KALPA decided to put their disputes with KQ’s management and the government on hold to give them time to resolve them, according to KAWU Secretary General Moss Ndiema, in order to prevent future interference with airport operations.
To avoid causing misunderstanding, we will wait until the problem between KALPA and KQ is settled, which is why we paused our action yesterday, he stated.
“With immediate effect, we canceled our plan, which will now make it possible to assist all other flights. KQ is the sole affected airline. This airport would have been shut down if we had downed tools in advance since all departments would have been idle.
However, Mr. Ndiema made it clear that they do not concur with all of the complaints that KALPA had raised before the strike.
He reaffirmed that, unless they are invited to the negotiating table to determine the best course of action, they will be prepared to protest the removal of KQ top personnel, including the carrier’s CEO Allan Kilavuka.
He stated, “The Kenya Aviation Workers Union would like to stress that we have as much of an interest in who becomes the CEO of Kenya Airways as KALPA has or other part of employees.
He continued, “But if the topic is Allan Kilavuka’s resignation, then we should be invited to that debate because our position is that while he may not be perfect, he has put KQ back on the road to recovery.
“Please let us know if there is anything that Allan Kilavuka did wrong so that we may discuss it. However, the KAWU’s stance is that we have faith in them, they shouldn’t be forced out, and in any case, we are prepared to fight it.”
The dispute has led to KQ urging passengers who have chosen not to fly to cancel their tickets, apologizing to its customers over the stalemate.
They promised to find a solution as soon as possible, including reserving tickets on other airlines.