Kenya Airways fires 140 engineers, technicians over strike

Had refused three written request to return to work
||Last Updated: 12/14/2017
Labour relations
Kenya Airways' Boeing 777-300ER aircraft arrives at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. REUTERS/Noor Khamis/File photo

NAIROBI (Reuters) — Kenya Airways on Thursday fired about 140 engineers and technicians over what it called an "illegal strike," an internal memo from the CEO to all staff, seen by Reuters showed.

The airline — which is 7.8 per cent owned by Air France KLM — restructured $2 billion of debt in a rescue plan this month.

"(The) management will not entertain actions that impede the recovery process of the company," CEO Sebastian Mikosz wrote in the memo.

He wrote the striking workers had ignored three written requests from the company to resume work since the strike started on Tuesday this week.

The company did not offer an immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

The technical assistants were demanding a 70 per cent increase in basic pay while control and production engineers wanted a 250 per cent pay hike, the airline said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

It accused them of being unreasonable for demanding the raise soon after another increase that was implemented in April this year. It lost about 80 engineers to higher paying Middle East rivals in the last 14 months to February this year.

The workers' union was not available immediately for a comment. Kenya Airways employs about 4,000 workers in total with 600 of them in the technical department.

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