Wednesday, November 21, 2012

● STRIKES! African aviation scene hit by wave of strikes as Namibia, Mozambique, Libya and Kenya affected.

StrikeThe season for go slows and strikes appears to have hit the African aviation scene this week with 4 countries reporting industrial action, either planned, or ongoing.

Air NamibiaWindhoek, Namibia - Since Friday last week, Air Namibia (SW)'s operations have been badly hit after a breakdown in talks between the carrier's management and the pilot union, the Namibian Airline Pilots Association (NAPA). The breakdown occured last week when Air Namibia's management is said to have offered a 5% salary increment on cost to company (ctc) across the board, backdated 01 April 2012 which the Union is said to have declined.

NAPA president Christian Schneider on Monday said pilots had had no salary increases since 2009 but that  they also hoped that a solution would be found.
NAPA members are aware of the inconvenience and economic loss that cessation of the schedule of the country’s national carrier would cause. Industrial action is seen very much as a last resort. Every attempt has been made to avoid a strike.

During this period, Air Namibia is making use of contracted pilots as well as other pilots who are not taking part in the ongoing industrial action. Operators at the airline include 13 foreign-contracted pilots, 17 foreign ad hoc-contracted pilots and 81 permanent Namibian pilots.


LAM Mozambique AirlinesMaputo, Mozambique - Mozambique's LAM Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique's (TM) Pilots, stewards and other cabin staff began an indefinite strike on Sunday, leading to the cancellation of several LAM flights. 

The strikers alleged that LAM's Board of Directors had, since 2007, taken no steps to deal with their grievances which include demands for higher wages, allowances for night work, and life insurance, which has not been guaranteed since 2005.
"They say that the life insurance is guaranteed, but there’s no proof of this. For more than five years we haven’t signed any insurance documents”, one of the strikers told reporters. “The signature should be annual."
Source [AIM]

On Monday afternoon, the strike was called off, after management acquiesced to the workers demands granting them improved crew's wages, working conditions and provision for life insurance.


KenyaNairobi, Kenya - Air traffic controllers at Kenya's airports have continued their go-slow, now in its second week, with delays of between 30 to 60 minutes, hurting various airline’s operations.

Over 300 workers represented by the Aviation and Allied Workers Union (AAWU) withdrew their goodwill on Monday over what union officials attributed to "failure to implement a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which was signed last year following a similar go-slow."

Goodwill is an agreement between management and union workers that requires staff to work even beyond the stipulated time in the CBA including overtime, but still within the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) regulations.
The workers are not happy. There are some things pending with the CBA negotiations that we agreed upon. At this point I can’t’ say what they are,” said Nicholas Baraza, the Aviation and Allied Workers Union (AAWU) secretary-general. “The CBA has been implemented half-way and the workers just got irritated,” said Mr Baraza.

The union is still in talks with Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.
Libyan AirlinesTripoli, Libya - Lastly, according to the Libya Report website, Libyan Airlines (LN) staff are planning "a general strike" effective 1 December over alleged "corruption and neglect" in the company.
No confirmations as yet have been received as to whether or not the strike is to go ahead.

Check out The African Aviation Tribune for further updates and goings on.