Kenyan aviation union threatens government with strike

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Aviation and Allied Workers' Union in Nairobi, Kenya, has threatened to suspend operations in 48 hours at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport if the government does not accede to its requests, the East African Standard reported on April 18.

The minister of Labour, Newton Kulundu, "declared the strike illegal and warned that such action would lead to serious consequences," said the Standard. A representative of the union, Jimi Masege, said that the airline was ignoring an order from the registrar of trade unions to collect money from airport workers and give it to the union, Nairobi's Daily Nation said.

Kulundu called on the union to respect the April 14 ruling of what the Nation called an "industrial relations officer," which required the union to refrain from striking. The Standard noted that there was some dispute as to whether the AAWU was properly registered with the government. According to the Daily Nation, Kulundu recommended that the dispute be handled by the state Industrial Court if an agreement could not be reached.

While some airline operations on April 18 have been disrupted due to bad weather, the union is not planning to strike until Wednesday, April 20.