Atwoli hits out at KQ board, threatens to sue over move to dismiss 182 pilots

In Summary

• Atwoli said that KQ's management should be blamed for the challenges facing the national carrier.

•He called on the government to reshuffle the management so that young people can take over management of the firm.

Cotu secretery General Francis Atwoli
'REASONS FOR YOUR HURDLES': Cotu secretery General Francis Atwoli
Image: COURTESY

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions has threatened to move to court if Kenya Airways goes ahead with its plan to retrench 182 pilots.

Secretary general Francis Atwoli said that KQ has failed to consider the welfare of its employees, and Cotu is ready to challenge the retrenchment in court if the workers' interests are not safeguarded.

The trade unionist said KQ  failed to consult the union as well as its employees on how they should be sent home.

“We understand that Kenya Airways top management is holding a meeting right now to send workers at home. No employee from those who will be affected is represented in today’s meeting,” Atwoli told the media at Cotu headquarters in Nairobi on Monday afternoon.

Atwoli's remarks come after the Star reported that Kenya Airways intends to send home 182 pilots. About 400 cabin crew also face job losses at the national carrier.

“We regret to advise you of management's decision to terminate your appointment by giving you one month notice with effect from June 24, 2020,” copy of the letters given to the pilots, signed by Chief Human Resources Officer Evelyne Munyoki read in part.

The exit package includes salary and all applicable allowances up to and including June 24, 2020, a one month's salary in lieu of notice and accrued leave days as at June 24, a move that will see the loss-making company spend millions in the lay-off.

“The effects of Covid-19 has adversely affected our operations as an airline which has seen us significantly suspend and reduce our operations,” KQ, as it is known by its international code, says in the letters to pilots dated June 24, and served on June 29.

Atwoli said that KQ's management should be blamed for the challenges facing the national carrier. He called on the government to reshuffle the management so that young people can take over management of the firm.

“The board is composed of people who have outlived their usefulness. They should be at home and allow people who understand modern dynamics to take over,” Atwoli said.

He was accompanied by officials of trade unions affiliated to Cotu at Solidarity House in Gikomba.

“As Cotu, we will not allow this to happen. We have to stop it and ensure the welfare of workers are safeguarded,” Atwoli said.