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Kenya Airways to send sacked staff reinstated by High Court on compulsory leave

By Paul Wafula | Dec 20th 2017 | 2 min read
By Paul Wafula | December 20th 2017

Kenya Airways is sending the more than 150 sacked staff reinstated by the High Court on compulsory leave as it plans to fight the decision.

The airline says it has complied with the court order but has asked the employees to go on leave. 

“They have been requested to proceed on leave for thirty (30) days,” the airline said on Tuesday.

The move will see the affected employees from the airline’s technical department locked out after the national carrier said the High Court ruling was made before listening to its side of the story.

“As Kenya Airways, we do not comment on the court ruling because we do not understand how the judge could make a ruling about the airline’s safety without getting any expert insight,” it added. 

It said since December 6, it has had over 12 Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) inspectors conduct random ramp and hangar control checks on a daily basis.

“Over 150 documents and 24 procedures have been checked/audited by the inspectors and so far the regulator has not cited any safety issues with any of the Kenya Airways aircraft or the airline’s operations. Our aircraft continue to be serviced by the current work force of 427 Engineers and Technicians with operations remaining normal.”

The airline feels the technicians have been unfair when they decided to go on strike on the day President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn into office, disrupting operations at the airline to get their demands met.

The staff had been sacked after participating in what the airline says in its affidavit as an unprotected strike.   

Kenya Airways Chief Executive Sebastian Mikosz says the airline has enough technical staff and engineers who did not participate in the strike and who are currently on duty. 

Mr Mikosz was reacting to a decision by the Employment and Labour Relations Court, which on Monday directed that the fired employees be given back their jobs pending the hearing and determination of a suit challenging their dismissal.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa said it is unsafe for passengers to fly on planes that are not serviced.

Trouble began on November 16 when technical staff delivered a letter to Mikosz’s office asking for a pay increase. They gave the airline until the following day to discuss the issues. But the management ignored the letter.

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