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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya Airways says flight operations
on despite strike by technical staff

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya Airways said its flights continue to run as scheduled despite the illegal strike by some of its technical staff.

Kenya Airways said in a statement released on Wednesday night that flight operations are expected to continue as normal despite the strike by over 140 technical workers who went on a go-slow for the second time in a year on Tuesday evening demanding salary increments.

“Kenya Airways management has been consistently communicating in good faith the progress of addressing issues raised by the technical department. Key has been remuneration and this was addressed earlier in the year,” the airline said.

“The illegal strike at Kenya Airways hangers by about 140 engineers and technicians is in bad faith and unacceptable,” the carrier added.

The workers, including those who fuel, maintain and service Kenya Airways aircraft, want their pay adjusted upwards to match that paid to their equivalents working for Middle East carriers.

They have cited high cost of training maintenance personnel, and an increasing migration of technicians to the Gulf countries due to poor pay in the country. 

The technicians are demanding a minimum pay of 3,400 U.S. dollars for technical assistants and 12,000 dollars for the highest paid ones.

The airline confirmed it has lost about 80 engineers and technicians to the Middle East carriers between January 2016 and February.

The airline said it went on a recruitment campaign to replace the exited staff and implemented accelerated course training and approvals for the eligible technicians and engineers. All were recruited within the Kenyan market.

The airline said the current demands for a salary increment comes barely seven months after receiving a pay rise.

Kenya Airways said the technical department has a staff of over 600 employees at various levels but only about 15 percent of these are participating in the illegal strike. 

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