Atwoli Slams Kenya Airways Board Over Plans to Lay Off More Workers

July 7, 2020

Central Organisation of Trade Union(COTU) Secretary general Francis Atwoli has hit out at the Kenya Airways board over plans to retrench a significant number of employees.

According to a report by the Star on Monday, the national carrier plans to send home 182 pilots, with a further 400 cabin crew also facing job losses.

“We regret to advise you of management’s decision to terminate your appointment by giving you one month notice with effect from June 24, 2020,” copy of the letters addressed to the pilots read in part.

The lay off package includes salary and all applicable allowances up to and including June 24, 2020, a one month’s salary in lieu of notice and accrued leave days as at June 24.

“A decision has been reached to carry out an organisation-wide rightsizing exercise which will result in a reduction of our network, our assets and our staff. Effectively, we have commenced a phased staff rationalisation process, which we expect to conclude by September 30 2020,” said KQ chief executive Allan Kilavuka in a memo to staff.

However, COTU boss Atwoli has said the workers union will challenge the retrenchment in court if the KQ workers’ interests are not safeguarded.

The outspoken trade unionist noted that the Kenya Airways board did not consult the union as well as its employees on how they should be sent home.

“We understand that Kenya Airways top management is holding a meeting right now to send workers at home. No employee from those who will be affected is represented in today’s meeting,” Atwoli said at Cotu headquarters in Nairobi on Monday afternoon.

“The board is composed of people who have outlived their usefulness. They should be at home and allow people who understand modern dynamics to take over,” he added.

“As Cotu, we will not allow this to happen. We have to stop it and ensure the welfare of workers are safeguarded.”

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