Kenya Airways (KQ) has threatened to sack pilots who will got on strike next week after talks over the same collapsed.
The meeting which was presided over by the national carrier’s chief executive, Allan Kilavuka, was held on Tuesday morning, October 25.
Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli was also part of the meeting that ended unsuccessfully.
Kilavuka warned that as much as the pilots keep making demands, their mission on keeping the airline alive is clear.
“…Atwoli came to help chair the meeting and we had a discussion but that discussion did not yield the results we hoped it would yield on the way forward
“They said clearly that the strike will happen if we do not meet their demands. There comes a time of reckoning and I think this is that time. At one point yes we want to listen, but at the same time there’s a bigger mission to keep the airline alive,” Kilavuka said.
However, Kilavuka noted that the airline was open for discussions but the main mission at the moment is keeping business running.
“We’re still open to discussions, but at the same time, the airline is a local product that serves employees so my responsibility is to ensure that the airline remains in existence for the service of all the 3,800 employees and not just a few of us,” he added.
This comes a week after the pilots issued a 14-days strike notice over withdrawal of Provident Fund and harassment of union officials among other issues.
Through their union, Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA), 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 insists 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.
The last strike by the pilots was in November in 2016.