Kenya: Airport workers strike disrupts flights

Passengers stranded after their flights are delayed out of JKIA airport in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Some hundreds of air passengers were stranded Wednesday in Kenya because of a strike at Nairobi's international airport by the Kenya Aviation Workers Union.(AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Hundreds of air passengers were stranded Wednesday in Kenya because of a strike at Nairobi’s international airport by the Kenya Aviation Workers Union.

Police violently dispersed striking workers who attempted to protest at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Kenya’s military took over screening and security services at the airport following the strike.

The union said in a statement that the strike was over the proposed takeover of the Kenya Airport Authority, that runs airports, by the country’s loss-making airline, Kenya Airways. It demanded the removal of the top management of Kenya Airways and the Kenya Airport Authority.

Kenya Airways Managing Director Sebastian Mikosz said 24 flights had been delayed and two flights had been diverted elsewhere because of the strike.

“The so called morning wave (of flights) was disrupted,” he said. He said international flights will be delayed but would take off. He said the logistical challenge had been to check in passengers and screen them properly.

“The process is slow but improving every minute,” he said

Kenya’s parliamentary Public Investment Committee is investigating the deal which the government claims is necessary to reduce the loss of market share to competitors such as Ethiopian Airlines.

By TOM ODULA I Associated Press

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