Labour threatens to shut down Kenya Airways Nigerian operations

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By Louis Ibah

Labour union in Nigeria’s aviation sector are threatening to shut down Kenya Airways operations in the country following the insertion of ‘performance based leave clause’ for its Nigerian staff.
The airline in its new policy for the country’s workers said that payment of leave bonuses would now be based on their performance on the job while workers would no longer be entitled to leave allowances during public holidays. The new policy of the airline has however angered the workers and industry unions who said the policy was against the Nigerian labour laws and they have issued the airline a14 day ultimatums to address the issue or risk industrial actions by the union.
One of the unions, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) that had petitioned the management of the airline described as obnoxious the new policy of Kenya Airways for it’s nigerian workers.
The petition dated September 11, 2017 with the reference number NUATE.GS/CM.KA/ENP/0015-17, signed by the General Secretary of NUATE, Mr. Olayinka Abioye and made available to aviation correspondents said that despite the lucrative nature of the Nigerian route to the airline, the Nigerian staff were treated as slaves.
According to the petition, Kenya Airways earned over N10 billion between April 2015/2016 to March 32017, out of which the entire total staff cost for the airline was a mere 1.7 per cent.
The union said that it had been in talks with the management of the airline in the past three years for the review of the condition of service of the workers, but decried that the management reversed almost all the agreements it reached with it without recourse to it.
The petition added: Rising from the Lagos meeting, management pleaded for two weeks within which to get back to us, which later turned out to be almost two months. This negative disposition notwithstanding, we honoured the August meeting with high hopes considering the fact that the only issue yet to be settled was that of the appropriate percentage to be paid Nigerian workers of KQ (Kenya Airways) on leave allowance.

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“But, the meeting turned upside down with new managements proposal of performance based clause tied to the payment of leave allowance, which is clearly alien to the Nigerian legislation and applicable labour laws.”
The union also condemned the alleged executive recklessness of the management to cancel the payment of arrears of monies that was due to workers arising from review of salaries, allowances and other ancillary matters in their collective bargaining agreement.
The union demanded the restitution of all the agreements reached in Lagos and immediate setting the appropriate machinery in motion to commence its implementation.
It warned that failure of the airline to address all the issues raised within 14 days, threatening that it would not hesitate to cripple its operations in the country. Sunnews

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