Press Statement on the ongoing Pilot Strike.

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE ONGOING INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE BETWEEN KENYA AIRLINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION (KALPA) AND THE KENYA AIRWAYS.

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (Kenya), COTU (K), being the umbrella body for Trade Unions is greatly concerned about the industrial relation in our aviation sector.

As a member of the International Labour Organization, COTU (K) subscribes to the various conventions and recommendations of the ILO that seeks to promote sustainable and inclusive businesses while at the same time enhancing workers’ welfare and rights.

Tripartism is at the centre of our operations as COTU (K) and social dialogue has always remained key to solving many industrial disputes at whatever time. As such, COTU (K) has always sought to promote social dialogue among the tripartite partners, namely, the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Labour, Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) and COTU (K).

Thanks to this working arrangement, we were able to save so many jobs and sustain many businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic considering the Memorandum of understanding that was signed in April 2020 to alleviate the situation.

In that regard, COTU (K) is greatly concerned about the sorry state of industrial relations in the aviation sector. COTU(K) has since had several engagement with KAPLA, which is our affiliate, and it is increasingly becoming clear that dialogue is not being given a chance.

But to further the dispute, the Government of Kenya has failed to initiate proper dialogue with both parties taking in mind the ministry that is being involved does not have the much-needed understanding of our industrial relations and how industrial disputes are solved.

Matters strikes and industrial disputes affecting the transport sector cannot be mediated by the Ministry of Transport. This is a matter within the mandate and prerogative of the Ministry of Labour.

We, as COTU (K), would, therefore, like to call upon the Management and the Government through the Ministry of Labour to have a constructive social dialogue with the aim of finding a sustainable solution in this sector.

Bro. Benson Okwaro, MBS

DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL