KQ pilots vow to defy court order on strike

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Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa) general secretary Paul Gichinga (centre) addresses a press conference on April 26, 2016. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |NAIROBI NEWS

The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa) has insisted that their planned strike is still on and will start Thursday at noon.

A notice to all members signed by the association’s General Secretary Captain Paul Gichinga urged the pilots to assemble at Rubani House in full uniform for the strike.

Kalpa issued a strike notice calling for among other things the resignation of Kenya Airways Chief Executive Mbuvi Ngunze whom they say is responsible for the woes facing the national carrier.

In guidelines circulated to its over 500 members, Kalpa advised that no flight should leave Nairobi after Thursday noon.

“All flights outstation are to proceed on as normal with the intent of returning the aircraft back to base (NBO). There shall be no departures EX-NBO at or after 0900UTC,” read the guidelines.

Kalpa urged pilots who are outside the country to notify the association should they be thrown out of their hotel rooms for participating in the strike.

“If at station wheres there is no mutual assistance and you are thrown out of hotel, Kalpa to organise purchase of commercial ticket for your return back to base (NBO),” read the guidelines.

Captain Gichinga said the strike is legal, adding, “This is a proper strike, and not a go slow.”

Kenya Airways termed the 48 hour strike notice as too short and illegal, since the law allowed for a minimum of a week.

“We are surprised and consider it the height of insincerity, bad faith and an act of economic sabotage for Kalpa to allege to issue a strike notice knowing fully well the current challenging business environment facing the airline and also in light of the ongoing consultations,” KQ had said in a statement.