Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced plans to lay off some of its staff, citing company restructuring as its nationalization nears.
Roles will change; some maybe enriched while others are merged. I also want to be clear that as difficult as it is, some roles will disappear altogether, resulting in redundancies.
Kenya Airways acting Chief Executive, Allan Kilavuka
However, as Business Daily reports, the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) is strongly opposed to the move, arguing that the way to return the airline to profitability is through ridding it of corruption and mismanagement, as opposed to staff layoffs.
“…we urge you to put on hold the restructuring exercise, pending joint consultation between parties as envisaged by the law,” says KAWU Secretary General, Moss Ndiema. He further argues that the layoffs, if necessary, should only happen when the right procedures are followed.
The nationalization of the airline entails the formation of an Aviation Holding Company to run the country’s aviation sector. The holding company will consist of four subsidiaries including the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Airways (KQ), Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), and a centralized aviation college.
Still, major ownership of the airline will remain with the government, with the state owning 48.9% of the company. Other owners include Air France KLM with 7.8% and local banks who own 38.1% of the Airline’s stake.