By Digital Reporter
Kenya Airways has announced that an axe will fall on many of its staff as it seeks to cut costs of operation and outsource services.
The harsh reality of job losses was announced as the airline begins with a voluntary early retirement programme which will see those who have attained retirement age eased out of the workplace.
Kenya Airways Managing Director, Titus Naikuni, said the decision by the airline’s Board of Directors was informed by the long term sustainability needs of the airline in a harsh operating environment that is currently characterised by a downturn in passenger volumes, declining revenues, unstable fuel prices and an increasingly competitive environment.
Naikuni said the exercise started on August 1, 2012 owing to the large increase in headcount in 2011/12, significant annual staff salary increments, and costly decisions driven by the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) negotiations with the staff unions driving labour costs to unsustainable levels.
It was not immediately clear how many workers would be rendered jobless in the exercise as management labored to explain the rising figures on its wage bill.
Some positions will be declared redundant and in some cases the airline will have to outsource labour and services in some of the non-core functions of the airline due to the technical nature of the industry.
Kenya Airways employment costs have more than doubled over the last six years, having risen from Ksh.6 billion in the year 2007 to Ksh.13.4 billion in 2012. The number of Kenyan employees has grown from 3,729 to 4,170 during the same period, while the number of overseas employees rose from 425 to 664. The total number of employees stands at 4,834 at the end of the last financial year.
Naikuni explained that Kenya Airways has adhered to the provisions of the Employment Act of 2007 and has issued one month notice to the respective unions, the Ministry of Labour and the employees.
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