Kenya's national airline sacks 140 striking staff

The striking technical staff have been staging a two day go slow pushing for higher pay.

Kenya Airways has sacked 140 employees from its technical department who have been staging a two day go slow demanding salary increments.

The national carrier issued the dismissal letters to the group on Wednesday evening after issuing three warning letters urging the employees to return to work.

“Three warning calls were issued to the striking staff yesterday. As at 3 pm this afternoon none of the striking employees had heeded to this warning.  Left with no other choice management has taken necessary action,” Kenya Airways chief executive director Sebastian Mikosz said.

The workers, including those who fuel, maintain and service KQ aircraft, have been on a go slow since Tuesday seeking to have their pay adjusted upwards to match that paid to their equivalents working for Middle East carriers.

In December last year, the staff staged a similar strike being which saw the airline’s management increase salaries from March.

Kenya Airways’ technical department has suffered major exits with staff being poached by Middle East carriers over the past two years.

According to Mr Mikosz, Kenya Airways lost about 80 engineers and technicians between January 2016 and February this year.

The carrier now says a technical assistant who saw their monthly salary adjusted from Sh120,000 to Sh200,000 in the review is now demanding Sh340,000.

Production and duty control engineers are similarly now allegedly picketing for their monthly wages to increase from the new Sh340,000 amount to Sh1.2 million a month.

Affected employees have not taken kindly to the sacking, accusing the CEO of high handedness in dealing with the salary review issue claiming 200 have been sacked over the go slow.

The affected employees will however be entitled to salary and applicable allowances up to November 29, accrued leave days as well as the airline’s and individual contribution to the pension scheme.

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