KQ Hires 40 Kenyan Pilots Amid Clashes with Union

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Kenya's National carrier has employed locals in an attempt to quell descent but still faces an uphill task against an unsatisfied workers union

Kenya airways (KQ) has countered its staff shortage by employing 40 local pilots. This, even as it defends its decision to hire foreign pilots on contract.

The recruitment was done amidst a trade dispute with the pilots` union which sees fault on the national carrier reneging on a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The hired pilots are awaiting to take up the vacancies that are currently being filled with contract pilots and they should have a least experience of six years.

The airline said in a statement that it is aim is not to do away with Kenyan pilots as the contract pilots are to serve the airline for two years after which Kenyan pilots will take their place.

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) suspended CBA negotiations with the employer and will file trade dispute, seeking arbitration with the Ministry of Labor.

KALPA feels that KQ decision to hire foreign pilots for its Boeing 737 fleet was a “gross violation” of its CBA.

KQ said that there was a deficit of 60 pilots and it aims at hiring local pilots. The airline also rejected claims that it was on a standoff with KALPA.

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Timothy Omondi