Kuwait Airways Company’s (KAC) management condemned a call by its workers union’s board of directors for a sit-in protest on Monday, adding that accusations against the management mentioned in the union’s statement are untrue. “The human element is the foundation of success and is sustainably changing for the better,” it said.
The carrier said accusations directed against the company’s management are wrong, adding that procedures followed by the company are in the interest of the employees, as it aims at increasing productivity and face current and future challenges. The statement said KAC follows best practices in managing human resources as far as planning and execution are concerned, to match accelerated developments in the aviation sector by placing occupational plans and create a suitable environment that “takes our working partners to self-development, which contributes to achieving future goals of the company”.
“As the case is with any airline in the world, it is necessary to set clear standards about working hours and the available incentives in the work system to boost the operational efficiency of the company,” it said. The company confirms that organizing the employment situation of those transferred to the government is actually done with the direction of the National Assembly and concerned government departments. The work contract with its general definition is the relationship between the employer (KAC) and those working for it, and that the existing relation between the two sides is based on a foundation of understanding between the parties within the framework of laws and legislations the company is committed to implement.
Deciding the value and relative importance of each job in the company, and deciding the salary grades of jobs through the development of a sound management of the wage system and guarantee various values of jobs and identifying activities and duties that form the job and decide the responsibilities, and design the job in suitable way along with deciding the specifications of these jobs are among the priorities of a wise management.
This does not mean undercutting employee’s rights – rather it is to the contrary, as it guarantees them legitimate working rights and more stability in a way that agrees with strategic plans related to change. KAC is working on achieving future gains for employees, it added. KAC, as a company owned in full by the government, is concerned with reaching a clear financial balance that commits it to follow a financial method aimed at reducing spending and increasing company revenues.
The strategic change related to reducing expenses and boosting operational and financial performance and competitiveness had started through the implementation of reducing spending and save on additional expenses, and one of these policies is to stop issuing tickets to retirees and employees who served for more than 24 years, bearing in mind that there is no airline that provides this service.
KAC conducted a comprehensive study on free tickets and found there is a clear cost of occupying economy, business and first class seats, and the cost of this program is estimated at KD 8 million per year due to missed opportunities. With this new mechanism, Kuwait Airways will rationalize spending by 50 percent of the total free tickets that are issued every year.
Many decisions taken by KAC management are part of a necessary package to boost the effectiveness of Kuwait’s national airline’s operations. Through deep reviews of company performance and commitment of strategic plans, the company plans to achieve during the next five years according to the best international standards and restore KAC’s status to become the preferred airline to link Kuwait with the world.
The company always works towards contributing to develop Kuwaiti skills, and will spare no effort in presenting sustainable options to raise the efficiency of human resources in it within the professional standards of the sector, which agrees with boosting the effectiveness and competitiveness of the company to achieve its future goals. KAC confirms its commitment to communicate with company employees and union members to make sure the accuracy of directed information, which was noticed to be repeatedly inaccurate, and to present the full situation to all transparently.
The statement said Kuwait Airways reserves all its legal rights with regards to publishing any inaccurate information that may affect its commercial image. KAC is proud of having an elite group of youth as part of its team and by working as a team with its employees at KAC’s international stations and departments in its headquarters.
The union of KAC workers had called for the sit-in in front of the KAC headquarters to protest KAC’s lack of cooperation and ignoring law 6/2008 and its amendments, as it said in its statement, and undermining workers’ rights and squandering their professional goals, in addition to marginalizing their roles.
The union mentioned several violations by KAC in a statement released yesterday, as follows:
1. Changing official working hours of employees working in morning hours.
2. Forcing employees to sign new contracts without involvement of the strategic investor.
3. Random appointments without complying with known contractual procedures.
4. Depriving employees from financial and material rights, or reducing them.
5. Stalling over returning 37 pilots to their jobs.
6. Maliciousness in transferring workers to the government sector, and not granting them the agreed upon promotions after starting their government jobs.
7. Failure to appoint engineers who remain with the company in supervisory jobs permanently.