Court reinstates sacked Kenya Airways engineers

A Kenya Airways Dreamliner B787 on touchdown at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

A Labour court has directed Kenya Airways to immediately reinstate sacked engineers and technicians pending hearing and determination of the case.

Judge Hellen Wasilwa noted that it would be unsafe for the public to fly in unserviced aircraft, hence the order that they be reinstated as the case is litigated in court.

The engineers and technicians are challenging the airline's decision to sack them on claims they had engaged in unprotected strike.

The airline's lawyer on Monday requested the court to give them up to Tuesday to file a response in the case.

The request was granted by the court.

The national carrier was last Tuesday stopped from replacing the more than 130 technical staff.

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The order was in response to an urgent suit by the workers, filed through lawyer Dismas Wambola, challenging their dismissal.

The workers argued that through a letter dated November 29, Kenya Airways purported to summarily dismiss those who were on duty on November 28 for their alleged participation in an unprotected strike on that day.

The employees claimed they were not accorded an opportunity to be heard prior to the dismissals.

Kenya Airways had advertised positions of the sacked workers in the local dailies on December 1, and invited interested applicants for interviews with a deadline for submission of applications set for December 15.

Hearing resumes on December 20.

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