KQ Board says pilots grievances do not merit a strike

KQ Board Chairman Michael Joseph. [File, Standard]

Kenya Airways (KQ) board says grievances by its pilots' union do not merit a strike.

The Board of managers has also affirmed its support and confidence for CEO Allan Kilavuka and the entire management team.

In a statement on Wednesday, November 2, the Board Chair Michael Joseph has accused the pilots association of changing the demands from grievances about payments to demanding resignation or dismissal of the Management team.

“The Board further notes that KALPA's demands have changed from grievances about the suspension of the KQ Provident Fund (that equally affects all the airline staff), the Ab Initio Loan fund, Annual Leave, and other issues to outright demands for the resignation/dismissal of the Management team, particularly the CEO, Allan Kilavuka,” Michael Joseph’s statement reads in part.

“The Board underlines its full support and confidence in Mr. Kilavuka and the Management in handling the matters at hand and the Company. The Board also remains committed to supporting Management to make good on the promises made during COVID-19 as the Company's financial performance improves, evidenced by the resumption of full pay and the ongoing payment of the accrued deferred pay,”

Moreover, the Board wants the pilots to call off the strike on grounds that ‘it will delay and disrupt the financial and operational recovery and cause reputational damage to Kenya Airways,’.

“The negative impact will also affect thousands of employees and the vast ecosystem the Airline supports,”

Two weeks ago, the airlines’ pilots issued a 14-day strike notice, citing the withdrawal of the Provident Fund and harassment of union officials.

They said they plan to down their tools because of what they termed ‘grave concerns.

Days later, Kenya Airways management offered to resume contribution to the provident fund next year.

KQ Chief Executive Allan Kilavuka proposed another option the provident fund resumes immediately in place of the payment of deferred 2020 and 2021 salaries.

Through their union, Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA), the pilots said they had raised the issues on multiple occasions on behalf of their members and which remain unresolved.