The Aviation and Allied Workers Union has announced another imminent strike action against Kenya’s national airline from the middle of this week. This prompted concerns by the country’s tourism industry over the likely impact on the sector and the national economy.
Last year the union ignored a court order and went ahead with strike action, which reportedly cost KQ a whopping 600+ million Kenya Shillings. Economic recovery of the country in general and of the airline in particular was slow in coming, after the post election violence in early 2008, combined with the fallout of the global economic and financial crisis, but is now fully underway with the tourism industry looking at a new tourism arrival record for 2010.
Vacationers, business and conference visitors are streaming back into Kenya at a record pace but this may all be in danger should the union go ahead with the strike call. Government intervention has been demanded by the airline and the tourism industry to prevent what could be highly damaging industrial action and for the union to return to the negotiating table. But being recognised as one of the more militant and radical unions under the umbrella body COTU – the Kenyan ‘Central Organization of Trade Unions’ this may not succeed.
It is understood that Kenya Airways’ management is making logistical arrangements to minimise the impact of a potential strike, while at the same time attempting for more talks. But considering the hard line taken by the union, this may not be succesful.
Travelers booked with Kenya Airways on flights from Wednesday this week onwards, both to and from Nairobi, should consult the nearest offices of the airline or their preferred travel agents and should monitor announcements made on the Kenya Airways website via www.kenya-airways.com to be on the safe side. eTN will monitor the situation too and update readers as and when more details and news are available.