Kenya Airways Pilots’ Strike Cost Horticulture Sector KSh 45 Million Daily

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A Kenya Airways cargo plane PHOTO/Courtesy

New details have shown that the horticulture sector is losing at least KSh 45 million daily due to the ongoing Kenya Airways pilots’ strike.

The pilots’ strike which enters day four today has seen perishable goods that were to be flown out of the country go bad at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

According to Ojepat Okisegere, chief executive officer of Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPCK), the strike has hugely  affected the horticulture sector as most countries countries are placing orders ahead of the festive season and Valentine’s Day next year.

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“On the bare minimum, we are losing at least Sh45 million on a day if you work with an average of $2.5 (Sh304) per kilogramme of all the commodities that we are not exporting,” Okisegere said.

Okisegere said Kenyans farmers are hesitant on harvesting their produce for lack of assurance that it will be exported.

At the same time, buyers have stopped placing orders for fear that what they may order from Kenya may not be delivered.

“Our customers overseas cannot place orders when they are not certain that they will not get what they would have ordered,” said Okisegere.

As earlier reported on WoK, on Monday, November 7 advertised positions of pilots who are on strike which marks its third day today.

KQ’s Chief People Officer Tom Shivo announced that the airline is accepting applications for captains and first officers positions.

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In an update on LinkedIn, the airline also announced that it is recruiting a Legal Counsel and a Brand Executive – Sustainability.

“I can confirm that we are looking for suitable applicants to fill the positions of Captains and First Officers at Kenya Airways,” Shivo told Nation

The pilots had issued a 14-day strike notice over withdrawal of Provident Fund and harassment of union officials among other issues.

The pilots said they had raised the issues on multiple occasions but they have remain unresolved.

“We have been desirous to resolve these matters through various engagements and we have made a number of please to the KQ leadership to address these matters to conclusion

“However, you and the KQ management team remain unperturbed and unbothered to find solutions to these matters that have continued to impact the pilot fraternity,” said KALPA secretary-general Capt. Murithi Nyaga.

However, on the other hand, Kilavuka argued that reviving the Provident Fund will come at the expense of something else.

“We do have this Provident Fund which is actually very sensitive and we as employers have an obligation to contribute to it

“The only reason why the Provident Fund was suspended is because we couldn’t afford it and we followed the laid-down process in suspending that fund. We cannot be at the moment afford to fund it,” he said.

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