Kenya Airways will begin service between Nairobi and New York on October 28th. At least that is the plan…
Unions at Kenya Airways are not happy. Kenya Airlines continues to lose money and the airline is asking workers to take a pay cuts. That has resulted in anger. Unions see the matter differently:
Management is proposing a pay cut, in total disregard to immense sacrifices that our members made in the recent past when the airline was in extreme distress.
The two sides have been bargaining for weeks, but face an impasse. Now unions are threatening to strike if a new labor agreement is not reached by October 28, 2018. Not coincidentally, that is the day that Kenya Airways will launch new service to New York JFK.
The airline has promised unions that negations will resume after the “successful launch” of its New York flight. I bet that will just embolden unions to push for resolution before the actual launch. Can you imagine the embarrassment if Kenya Airways’ U.S. launch is delayed due to labor unrest? The airline appears to be taking no chances, emailing employees:
This action is incomprehensible to management who will employ all legal and disciplinary means available to it in order to safeguard our national airline.
Nothing like ratcheting up tensions…
The new NBO flight is high on my list of flights to sample. I look forward to trying Kenya Airways sooner rather than later on this new route. In the meantime, I hope that management and labor can iron out their differences. With Kenya Airways continuing to lose money ($39.5MN USD for the last half of the year), it may need to think twice about its new prestige route to New York. Then again, with language like “our national airline” used by management, perhaps the money is not all that important after all.
image: Thomas Naas / Flickr