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KQ pilots call off strike as ex-Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph takes over as board chairman

Tense negotiations that went on for the better part of Monday evening by the Kenya Airways management, its pilots and the government finally bore fruit as a looming strike expected to start on Tuesday, October 18, was eventually called off.

 

It is widely  believed that the decision to call off the strike was made following intervention from State House.

The Kenya Airlines Pilots Association (Kalpa) at a press conference soon after announced that negotiations had yielded a compromise on their demands.

"Kalpa is pleased to announce that the in-face between pilots of Kenya Airways and the management of the national carrier has been resolved," said the association's secretary general Paul Gichana on Monday.

He emphasised that they were not retreating from their initial position insisting that change for Kenya Airways could only be achieved through an overhaul of the current leadership.

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“We are asking our members to resume duty tomorrow. We have been meeting throughout the week and there has been goodwill on both sides and we are giving it more time to have the issues resolved,” Mr Gichana added.

However, he was categorical that the strike had not been entirely been shelved, but was deferred in order to give room for ongoing negotiations to continue.

The association had been demanding a change of management at KQ, stating that they no longer had faith with the current management to steer the airline back to its former pride.

The pilots’ tough stance has seen the elbowing out of the KQ board chair Dennis Awori who is expected to be replaced by ex-Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph in changes to be announced soon by the airline.

However. remains uncertain what the fate of Chief Executive Mbvuvi Ngunze will be for now as both he and Awori were absent during Monday’s press conference.

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Mr Joseph, who was recently appointed a board member, represented the KQ management at the press conference.

He also announced there would be a board meeting next Wednesday when the pilots' demands would be discussed, including a ratification of his appointment.

The national carrier had over the weekend canceled several flights due to staff shortage as contracted workers stayed away citing several grievances.

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