Airport workers have re-ignited their fight with the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) over the delayed implementation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiated in 2019.
In a letter to its members dated 14th April 2022, the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) has accused the KAA management led by MD Alex Gitari of frustrating efforts to finalize the deal that would bring an end to a three-year dispute.
Through its Secretary-General Moss Ndiema, KAWU says that after filing a case against KAA at the Ministry of Labour in 2020, officials advised both parties on clear guidelines to embrace for a smoother and faster conciliation process.
But despite reaching an agreement on a formula to carry out the exercise, the KAA administration has blatantly declined to honour the pact and effect stipulated increments.
Instead, they have embarked on a mission to overlook the terms and disregard the agreement.
“After protracted engagements with KAA management trying to push them to conclude the CBA, and have it implemented, we reported a trade dispute to the Ministry of Labour after realizing that management was keen on frustrating the conclusion of the same. After going through the conciliation process, the conciliator gave parties clear guidelines for resolving the dispute and tasked both the management and Union to embrace the sad guidelines and expeditiously conclude the CBA,” the document in our possession reads in part.
“However, despite reaching an agreement with the management of the implementation formula for the monetary aspects of the CBA, the management has flatly declined to honour the agreement. Instead, they have resulted to mutilating key terms of the CBA with abandon,” it adds.
In December last year, the aviators and KAA were locked in a standoff that destabilized operations across major travel facilities in the country.
At the time, the KAA board had proposed to increase uncontainable workers’ salaries by 6 per cent yearly from 2016 to 2019.
But KAWU, which has over 1,800 workers rejected the move, arguing that subjecting workers to reduced pay increases was in breach of mutual agreements signed by the two parties.
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