Kenya Airways has reportedly sacked 22 Nigerian workers out of its 26 Nigerian employees. This represents 86.4% of its Nigerian workforce, only four Nigerian staff are currently retained by the management of the airline after the exercise. Those retained are the Country Manager, Station Manager, and two other staff.
The Trade Union is not happy
According to the General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Olayinka Abioye, the affected staff were only given four weeks wages on disengagement by the management, and this is one of the reasons that the industrial unions are annoyed with the airline.
He described the sack of the workers as illegal especially at a time the airline management and labor had reached an agreement to implement some of the reviewed conditions of service for the workers. He further revealed that the management of Kenya Airways said they were doing restructuring exercise because of the financial conditions of the airline.
Olayinka also accused the airline of replacing all business plans with new business plans called General Sales Agent (GSA), which means they want to engage a traveling agency to handle the ticket sales and reservation and all the workers would be sacked.
The aviation industry in the country continues to face harsh economic conditions worsened by an economy that is just crawling out the recession with many airline operators indebted to aviation agencies. In the past, Asset Management Company of Nigeria AMCON had to take over the operations of some indigenous airlines such as Arik and AeroContractors airlines over a huge debt profile.
However, the Minister of Aviation had recently assured that the Nigerian government is working on getting a new national carrier for the country.
Kenya Airways was founded in 1977, after the dissolution of East African Airways. The airline was wholly owned by the Government of Kenya until April 1995, when it was privatized in 1996, becoming the first African flag carrier to successfully do so.