11 KALPA officials in court over KQ pilot strike

Eleven officials of the Kenya Airline Pilots Association have appeared before the Employment and Labour Relations Court over the ongoing Kenya Airway pilot strike.

The 11 officials were summoned by Milimani Commercial Lady Justice Anna Mwaure on Monday “to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt of Court for disobeying Court orders issued by the Court on October 31 suspending the pilot strike.

Among those appearing in court include seven pilots, three executive Council members and an executive secretary.

The KALPA officials are expected to address a press conference after the court proceedings.

Meanwhile, KQ pilots who have still downed their tools are at risk of losing their jobs after the airline called for applications for jobs.

Speaking to the media on Monday, KQ Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka said only 20 pilots showed up for duty on Monday as another 130 claimed to be unwell.

“For those who have not come we have initiated disciplinary actions. We have advertised for jobs today,” Kilavuka said.

He added that there will be no negotiations accusing the adamant pilots of trying to hold the airline hostage.

The go-slow has already left many stranded even as flights within Africa resume.

At the heart of the labour dispute is a decision by the airline management to halt provident fund contributions, which pilots allege violates a contract with all employees. The pilots further claim that KQ arbitrarily stopped employer and employee contributions beginning in 2020 and neglected to restart the retirement programme.

KALPA is also calling for the dismissal of KQ’s top management team, accusing the airline of mishandling the labour conflict by reportedly refusing to engage them in an effort to resolve the standoff.

KQ says this strike will cost approximately KES 300 million a day. In a week, this translates to KES 2.1 billion.

As a move to ‘avert’ the loss, KQ has issued a notice of termination of the recognition agreement and the collective bargaining agreement between the airline and KALPA.

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