Tuesday, December 4, 2012

■ KENYA: Reinstated workers reject Kenya Airways' "compulsory leave" directive; threaten to sue Naikuni and airline if not properly reinstated.

Kenya AirwaysThe 455 reinstated Kenya Airways (KQ) staff, whose claims of unfair dismissal were yesterday vindicated by an industrial court in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, today rejected a directive by the Kenyan carrier to send them all on compulsory paid leave until further notice.

In a statement today, Kenya Airways CEO, Titus Naikuni, said the workers had been issued with letters informing them that they had been sent on compulsory paid leave:
"The employees who reported to work this morning as directed by the court are now in the process of being issued with reinstatement letters and will be sent on leave awaiting redeployment,” he said.

Layoffs & RetrenchmentsThe workers, however, today rejected the offer saying KQ simply wanted "to buy time as it seeks to appeal the ruling". The Aviation and Allied Workers Union's (AAWU) chairwoman Perpetua Mponjiwa said that if the 455 were not properly reinstated by the end of today (Tuesday), they would sue Naikuni and the airline, arguing that "indefinite leave was illegal under labour laws":
We have information that they are in the Court of Appeal trying to get some orders. So this is just a game and we are used to it,” she said outside the Pride Centre in Embakasi.

Kenya Airways embarked on a redundancy drive in August in a bid reduce the airline's employee current cost base of USD160million, by 10-15%, following a USD55million (KES4.788billion) loss posted for H1 (First Half) of its 2012/2013 Financial Year.

As of today 18h00 CAT no comment from Kenya Airways had yet been heard.