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Reprieve for Kenya Airways staff after court stops the Airline from firing them

Kenya Airways advertised positions of the sacked workers in the local dailies on December 1, and invited interested applicants for interviews.

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KQ was on Tuesday stopped by Employment and Labour Relations Court from replacing the more than 130 technical staff whom it had accused of participating in an illegal strike until a case the workers have filed in court is heard and determined.

Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Hellen Wasilwa issued the orders in response to an urgent application the staff had filed through lawyer Dismas Wambola.

“An order is hereby issued restraining Kenya Airways from replacing the technical staff,” said the judge.

The airline had sent home some 131 employees mainly serving as engineers or technicians and even declared their positions vacant.

Kenya Airways advertised positions of the sacked workers in the local dailies on December 1, and invited interested applicants for interviews with a deadline for submission of applications set for December 15.

The workers through a letter dated November 29 however argued to the court that, Kenya Airways had not accorded them an opportunity to be heard prior to the dismissals.

“Some of the workers were either on lawful leave or off duty on November 28, and have not been issued with dismissal letters, but they have similar grievances as those already dismissed, and are reasonably apprehensive that Kenya Airways will soon issue them with dismissal letters,” Mr Wambola said.

The workers further argued that the airline had tarnished their reputation when it went ahead and announced through the media that it had dismissed them on account of gross misconduct, therefore no employer in the sensitive and small aviation industry is ever going to employ any of them even if the allegations against them are finally disproved by the court.

Justice Wasilwa certified the application as urgent and directed the lawyer to serve Kenya Airways with the court papers.

The case will be heard on December 18.

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