Flights have been disrupted at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi after aviation workers went on strike.
The workers, who downed their tools early Wednesday, are unhappy with the board of management, unfair staff hiring and compensation and proposed takeover of the airport by Kenya Airways.
No plane has landed at the airport since 3am, with a Rwanda Air plane that was supposed to pick up passengers leaving empty.
Long queues have formed at the airport’s gates, with some sources telling the Nation that some of the airport’s entry points had been closed.
Fire engines have also been withdrawn from some runways, with planes that were supposed to leave the East African aviation hub remaining grounded.
Hundreds of passengers are stranded at the airport after their flights were delayed or rescheduled, with many taking to social media to vent their frustration.
“We are stranded at JKIA since 3am. All flights grounded,” Kimany Kiongo posted on Twitter.
“Been here since 3am… no entry into the terminal at #JKIA due to strike action,” Nambi Sharon tweeted.
Some passengers spent the night at the airport after their flights were disputed on March 6, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY
The Kenya Aviation Workers Union (Kawu) has questioned the proposed merger of the loss-making airline and the Kenya Aviation Authority (KAA), a plan that has since been halted by Parliament.
The union’s members include cabin crew, security, air traffic controllers, and aircraft maintenance service providers.
Kawu is demanding the removal from office of KAA Chief Executive Johnny Andersen and chairman of the board Isaac Awuondo and their KQ counterparts.
The union has questioned how the national carrier’s CEO Sebastian Mikosz, board chairman Michael Joseph and a team of managers and consultants were allegedly paid a whopping Ksh1.3 billion ($13 million) in 18 months.
They want the KQ and KAA managers and directors to be shown the door.
“It is only then that workers in this industry will have the confidence that the issues affecting them will be addressed,” Kawu secretary-general Moses Ndiema said.
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