COTU demands resignation Of KQ Board, CEO over mismanagement

The Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) on Sunday called for the immediate resignation of the Kenya Airways Board, its Chief Executive Officer and senior managers in a joint appeal with aviation workers citing maladministration.

The union accused KQ board chairperson Michael Joseph and CEO Allan Kilavuka of condoning inefficiency.

In a joint briefing with the Kenya Airline Pilots Association and Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU), COTU Assistant Secretary General Ernest Nadome said the resignations will pave way for investigations at the airline which has been sinking into losses since 2004.

“The investigative agencies such as Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Ethics and anti-corruption commission should come in because what is happening at KQ borders on corruption that the board should be able to explain,” said Nadome.

The trade union also hinted at the possibility of instructing its members to down their tools to stop a retrenchment process initiated by the airline’s management with the aim of reducing its wage bill.

The retrenchment plan is part of a strategy put in place by the national carrier to survive an a slowdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic which has led to a decline in passenger traffic.

“We cannot accept this as workers. As COTU we are ready to support the workers in any way even if its downing tools,” he added.

Kenya Airways has been engaged in a phased restructuring targeting at least 1,500 workers.

The decision has continued to receive opposition with employees forced to take lump sum pay cuts since the company said it could not sustain the monthly wage bill currently estimated at Sh1 billion monthly.

“ KQ workers have taken deep pay cuts of between 70-80 percent, and they all accepted with the hope of keeping their jobs,” said KAWU Secretary General Moses Ndiema.

On Friday, Kenya Airways said it may lose up to Sh70 billion or more in 2020, compared to the Sh12.98 billion losses it recorded in the 2019 financial year. 

Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka said the forecast had been pegged disruptions caused by COVID-19. 

KQ also released its half year results for 2020 where it reported losses of up to Sh14.3 billion.

The company’s Chief Financial Officer Hellen Mwariri attributed the losses on reduced passenger traffic the airline has witnessed since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.

Source: CapitalFm