Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has given a seven-day ultimatum to Transport CS James Macharia to fire Kenya Airways (KQ) board chairman Michael Joseph over mismanagement of the airline.
The long-serving workers’ representative condemned the planned downsizing set to be made by the struggling carrier saying Joseph must go.
Speaking on Tuesday, September 1, Atwoli said Kenya Airways must adapt to changing times insisting the country had many young modern-day managers who could steer Kenya’s national carrier back to its glory days as the pride of Africa.
“Kenya has so many young people with talent to steer our airline. We cannot sit back and see the Rwandese coming up, Tanzanians are coming up, Ugandans are reviving theirs and in fact Ethiopia is buying more aircraft and then we are saying we can’t do this.
“I saw KQ as East African Airways before it became a private entity and went spiraling down…It’s out of pure mismanagement and people who have some personal interests. If within seven days an action is not taken then you will see what we will do…We will put in place mechanisms that will be make it difficult for top managers to access the airport,” said Atwoli.
KALPA calls for resignation of KQ board Atwoli’s remarks came just two days after three unions, the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) and the Kenya Airports Workers Union (KAWU), joined hands to demand sweeping changes at the entire KQ board.
“Since 2004, every four years there has been a retrenchment at Kenya Airways but that has not changed the problems. With the kind of losses we have even if all of us were to go without a salary or work for free we will still make a loss,” Murithi Nyagah the secretary general KALPA said.
In the latest financial review, KQ announced a KSh 14.3 billion loss in the first six months of 2020 nearly double the amount it registered during a similar period in 2019.
A month ago, KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka indicated the airline would fire hundreds of its employees in a resizing exercise.
The struggling airline that’s now deep in the red zone said its revenues had dwindled over the last three months prompting it to cut on costs.
“A decision has been reached to carry out an organisation-wide rightsizing exercise which will result in a reduction of our network, our assets, and our staff. Effectively, we have commenced a phased staff rationalisation process, which we expect to conclude by September 30 2020,”Kilavuka stated.