Kenya Airways to settle staff salary arrears of 6.5 billion shillings next June
Flag carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) plans to clear the backlog of 6.5 billion shillings in deferred wages by next year in a bid to ease growing unrest among airline staff.
The airline’s director of human resources, Tom Shivo, said on Tuesday that the airline has been paying deferred wages to workers since December 2021 and is committed to settling the amount owed by June.
The amount in default had accrued since April 2020 and into 2021 when the airline’s operations were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The airline is struggling to meet its various obligations following a series of big losses.
It recorded a net loss of 11.49 billion shillings in the six months ended June 2021 compared to the loss of 14.33 billion shillings it suffered in the previous similar period.
“The outstanding amount of workers’ deferred wages is 6.5 billion shillings and we expect to settle it by June 2023,” Shivo said.
“It is important to note that of this amount we have paid up to 40% to date.” The airline last year opted to pay workers between 70 and 95 per cent of their monthly wages, promising to settle the balance once it clears payments accrued to lenders and suppliers at the start of the year. next.
Salary cuts have reached up to 30% to preserve cash amid relentless financial challenges due to Covid-19.
The airline then said the new cost-cutting measure, aimed at keeping the business afloat during the stormy weather, targeted workers earning shillings 45,000 and above.
The non-payment of deferred wages to workers last year saw the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa) demand the full reinstatement of their wages, saying KQ had recorded an improvement in performance.
Kalpa – which represents 414 KQ pilots – wanted the airline to pay 100% of wages, saying its members, who are in the same category as KQ suppliers and other workers, were providing services despite financial pressure.
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