Flights disrupted at Kenya's main airport following workers strike

06 Mars, 2019, 17:51 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Kenya's main airport resumes operations after strike disruption

Kenya Air Force personnel were on Wednesday deployed to JKIA to handle the situation following a strike by aviation workers.

Hundreds of travellers were stranded at Nairobi's worldwide airport Wednesday as riot police deployed and teargas was sacked to disperse striking workers.

Union officials said the strike was called due to several grievances about mismanagement, including the planned merger between Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Airways, in what has generated sharp criticism from a section of leaders.

Passengers waiting for flights, some for hours, were asked to leave the airport and gathered in parking and waiting areas outside the building.

"I have been here since 3:00am".

Some passengers received medical treatment on site for tear gas inhalation, according to an AFP journalist at the airport.

Transport CS James Macharia addressing the media at JKIA on 6/3/2019.

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The workers, who had not announced their labour action beforehand, are angry about the planned takeover by Kenya Airways of the airport operated by the state-run KAA.

"So this [strike] is completely uncalled for because the deal has not happened".

"We have withdrawn all our services ranging from security, air traffic control, customer care, ground flight services, equipment operations", Kawu secretary general Moss Ndiema told the Business Daily on Wednesday.

According to the KAA, more than 7.6 million passengers and 313,000 tons of cargo passed through JKIA in more than 111,000 aircraft movements in 2017.

"We are set to resume operations, although the process is a bit slow", he said.

Flights to Amsterdam, Mumbai and London were, however, not affected, with passengers allowed to check in.

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