Court Orders Striking Kenya Airways Pilots to Get Back to Work

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • November 10, 2022

The Employment and Labour Relations court has ordered the 400 Kenya Airways pilots to end their strike and return to work unconditionally effective today, November 9. The pilots started the sitdown strike on Saturday, accusing their superiors of intimidation, victimisation and violation of their remuneration.

The court also directed the company leadership not to victimise or take any disciplinary action against the KALPA members. Now, the Kenya Airways Pilots Association (KALPA) has apologised for the inconveniences the strike caused and asked the pilots to resume work immediately.

“In that respect and after consultation with members, KALPA hereby withdraws the notice of industrial action issued on October 19, 2022. Our members shall resume duty by 0600hrs EAT on Wednesday, November 9, 2022,” says the statement issued by the pilots association, KALPA.

“The disruption and inconvenience to passengers is indeed regrettable. KALPA members will do their best to restore normalcy to operations,” said KALPA general secretary, Murithi Nyaga in a statement.

Levi Munyeri, the KALPA lawyer promised to talk to the pilots into abandoning the strike, despite the fact that the court had not addressed all the concerns brought up by her clients.

“We are going to look at those issues and we will do our best to ensure there is compliance with the court order so that the stalemate can end and the aviation industry in this country can resume normalcy,” he said.

He appealed to the two parties to start a process of honest negotiations as ordered by the court to normalise the situation. Kenya Airways chief executive Allan Kilavuka welcomed the court’s decision as good for the aviation industry but said a lot has been lost over the last four days.

“We thank the court for the expeditious ruling that now allows KQ to resume its normal operations. We commit to complying with the court’s directions,” he said in his statement.

“We sincerely apologise to all our passengers and cargo customers for the inconvenience and disruption. We assure them that we will do everything possible to return to normalcy in the shortest time.”

He said, however, that recovery “will require the airline to re-double its efforts to restructure, lower costs and increase staff productivity as well as recover the time, money and reputation lost”.

The four-day strike saw the airline suspend flights to three-quarters of its destinations.