Kenya Airplane Pilots Association (KALPA ) the umbrella association for pilots in Kenya with membership drawn from major airlines within the country has said its working tirelessly to resolve the ongoing industrial action that begun last week on Saturday at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport leading to cancellation of flights and leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
Kenya’s transport minister Kipchumba Murkomen had threatened the protesting staff with disciplinary action after the pilots defied a court order against industrial action .
KALPA today in a statement said that pilots have been in contact with the Cabinet Secretary, Labour, Hon. Florence Bore who has agreed to convene a meeting that will bring all the concerned parties together.
The statement further states that contrary to reports circulating that pilots have refused to negotiate , KALPA has been making all attempts to bridge the gap between KQ management and their members.
“We sent our proposals both to KQ and the concerned Ministries on Friday, Saturday and yesterday. This afternoon we sent out another proposal, with even further concessions.”
“ On the other hand, KQ has made no concessions from the proposals they presented over 2 weeks ago. They have also made it clear that they will not meet until our members resume their duties, yet this is contrary to the spirit of negotiation of a return-to-work formula that is founded on dialogue. This is not a show of good faith. Despite all their non-committal actions to resolve the stalemate.”
“ we continue to urge KQ management to come to the table and negotiate with an open mind. The Management’s ego and chest-thumping is to the detriment of Kenyans at large. The persistent harassment and intimidation towards pilots agitating for their rights serves more to agonize than inspire confidence that management is concerned about their welfare. This adversarial approach will not achieve our common goal of getting KQ back to full operation.”
According to KALPA,what their members are holding out for is all within the confines of a mutually agreed Collective Bargaining Agreement and not improved terms of service, therefore they expect KQ management to honour an agreement that is already in place.
The pilots body also blamed KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka for indicating that the Airline losses 300 million a day due to the strike, yet the pilots contractual pension (Provident Fund) costs the company only 60 million shillings a month for all 3,800 KQ staff.
KALPA has reiterated that their members are ready to go back to work at the earliest opportunity to discharge their duties after signing of an agreed position.