By Morris Aron
In what appears to be a pointer to underlying issues within the national carrier, details indicate that Kenya Airways bulldozed the retrenchment proposal without any consultations with the workers’ union.
“The reason we went to court is because every employee below management level found in his/her inbox an e-mail detailing the retrenchment,” said Perpetua Mponjiwa the chairperson of The Aviation and Allied Workers Union.
The workers body is accusing Kenya Airways of going back on a deal under the collective bargain agreement that resolved the last strike.
In the agreement, one party cannot decide upon redundancy of any employee.
The workers’ body also argues that while Kenya Airways cited the rising wage bill as one of the reasons for dismal performance, the matter can be resolved by both parties as there are alternative ways of addressing the issue including a proposal on wage cuts as has been in other countries.
Also being hotly contested is the fact that a recent job valuation by the Hay Group of South Africa recommended the restructuring of the employment system by doing away with a number of managerial positions that are duplicated, addressing the question of ‘political jobs’ and a general overview of the system – all which has not been done.
The workers body also accused Kenya Airways of ‘retrenching while still employing’, pseudo outsourcing the human relations function to a firm that has no authority to issue cabin crew licenses and hiring foreigners in breach of labour laws.
But in a statement earlier, Kenya Airways Chief Executive Titus Naikuni, said the decision was informed by long-term sustainability.
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