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Ukur Yatani appoints team to mediate Kenya’s aviation row

Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has appointed conciliators to help resolve the dispute that hit air transport in Kenya on Wednesday.

Mr Yatani named Mr Sharif Abdulkadir as the lead mediator in the row pitting aviation workers against the management of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Kenya Airways.

Mr Abdulkadir will be assisted by Dr Justus Nasirembe and Mr Linus Kariuki.

The team is expected to submit a report on the way forward within 30 days, Mr Yatani said in Nairobi.

The strike that hit operations at JKIA, Moi and Kisumu international airports also caught the attention of the National Assembly.

The House transport committee blamed the strike on anxiety among workers over the planned takeover of JKIA by Kenya Airways.

They accused the Transport ministry and Kenya Airports Authority of failing to adequately inform their members on the plan.

“Let us not beat around the bush, workers are anxious about their fate because the entire takeover is shrouded in secrecy,” said the committee chairman David Pkosing.

“I want to assure workers that their jobs are safe as nothing will take place without the approval of this Parliament,” Mr Pkosing added.

The chairman, accompanied by other committee members, assured the public that they will not allow any deal to take place before all the grey areas that have caused public uproar are addressed.

Other committee members that were present during the press conference held at parliament buildings were Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Tom Odege (Nyatike), Samuel Arama (Nakuru West),  Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango), Mugambi Murwithania (Buri) and Gideon Mulyungi (Mwingi Central).

“It is a shame that our International airport has been grounded because of the failure of the ministry to communicate with their workers,” Mr Pkosing said.

The MPs said before the takeover, they need to review the staff structure at Kenya Airways to address the high wage bill at the national carrier.

“Kenya Airways is bleeding because of the high wage bill. We have already written to the management demanding their structure and the salary for each worker,” Mr Pkosing said.

By Daily Nation

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