(recasts with confirmation from union, carrier)
By Duncan Miriri and Humphrey Malalo
NAIROBI Oct 17 Pilots at Kenya Airways
have delayed plans to strike, the head of the pilots'
union said on Monday, after a court ruled the action illegal and
the loss-making carrier said a stoppage would further hurt it.
The pilots' union KALPA had called for an indefinite strike
to start on Tuesday to protest against the management of the
airline, which is part-owned by the government and Air France-
Paul Gichinga, Secretary General of the Kenya Airline Pilots
Association (KAPA), said the union had held "fruitful
discussions" with government officials over the impasse but that
talks with company executives would still continue.
"We have taken the decision to defer the strike action to
accommodate the ongoing negotiations," he said in a statement,
adding the decision did not mean the group was withdrawing its
strike notice altogether.
"We emphasize that we are not retreating from our initial
position - change for Kenya Airways can only be achieved with an
overhaul in leadership."
A Kenyan court issued an order on Friday restraining KAPLA
from taking action.
The government, seeking to boost the carrier's fortunes and
support Kenya's battered tourist industry, had called the action
economic sabotage. The airline said last week it had reduced its
losses and industrial action would damage the recovery.
"Although we agree on many things and actions to be taken, I
am sure there will be others where we will not always be in
agreement," said the carrier's director Michael Joseph, adding
they would discuss to find ways to work together.
In a statement, the company said all operations would resume
as per schedule on Tuesday.
(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Aaron Maasho and Richard