NAIROBI – There are chaotic scenes at Kenya’s main Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as a major workers’ strike unfolds in which staff wants senior executives removed.
Hundreds of travelers are stranded and Kenya Airways (KQ) has canceled all its flights.
Kenyan Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia announced earlier today that Kenya Airforce and KQ personnel have been brought in to help with the screening of passengers who are departing for various destinations amid the aviation workers strike.
The strike action is already reverberating in the region. Rwanda national carrier RwandAir is taking its own steps.
“Due to the ongoing strike at JKIA, our flight WB452 to Nairobi and onward to Entebbe is canceled. All affected Entebbe passengers will be rebooked on WB434. Any inconvenience is highly regretted,” it said in a statement earlier.
After some time, another statement said: “All affected passengers traveling on Kigali – Entebbe – Kigali route will be rebooked on WB434 and WB435 respectively.”
According to Kenyan media, the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) has put forward demands for months which have been ignored.
Kawu is demanding the removal from office of KAA Chief Executive Johnny Andersen and chairman of the board Isaac Awuondo and their KQ counterparts, report Daily Nation.
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.
The strike notice was issued February 27.
Social media is where much of it is being played out