Court lifts order barring Kenya Airways job cuts


A Kenyan court has lifted a temporary order on Kenya Airways that stops the airline from cutting jobs as part of cost reduction plans.

The airline, 26.7 percent-owned by Air France KLM said this month it would shed staff through voluntary retirement, redundancies and outsourcing of non-core roles.

But the Aviation and Allied Workers Union, which represents 3,800 staff at the airline, challenged the cuts in court and secured restraining orders against the company, Reuters reports.
“The interim orders granted on August 10 are hereby lifted and the matter will proceed to hearing on September 10,” Judge Monica Mbaru said in her ruling on Thursday.

Leonard Ochieng, the lawyer for the union told Reuters that the court’s decision to lift the orders was a “travesty” of justice and said he would demand a review of it on Friday.

The airline declined to comment.

The union wants the court to block the job cuts altogether, arguing that the airline had not consulted the workers as required by law before deciding to terminate their services.

Kenya Airways (KQNA.NR) has said its wage bill more than doubled over the past six years to 13.4 billion shillings while the total number of staff has risen by more than 16 percent to 4,834.

The airline, ranked as one of the largest airlines in sub-Saharan Africa alongside Ethiopia Airlines and South Africa Airways, has not said how much it aims to save or how many jobs would go.