Kenyan aviation workers begin a planned strike on Wednesday, March 6, resulting in major flight disruptions at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO). The Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) began their strike in the early hours of Wednesday, with flight cancelations beginning around 03:00 (local time). Many inbound and outbound flights were canceled, diverted, or delayed by several hours, and passengers were reportedly not allowed to enter the airport. NBO airport officials advised passengers scheduled on flights after 11:00 to not arrive at the airport. Similar disruptions are expected in the coming hours and days.
In an attempt to break up an associated protest at NBO, security forces fired tear gas and clashed with striking workers. At least six people were wounded in the confrontation and police officers arrested the KAWU leader Moss Ndiema.
KAWU represents aviation workers from various sectors including cabin crews, security, air traffic controllers, among other service providers. The union threatened to hold a strike in early February 2019 but postponed the action to allow for negotiations over a proposed change in management of NBO.
Individuals flying through NBO are advised to monitor developments to the situation, confirm flight reservations, contact their airlines for further information, and anticipate long delays, flight cancelations, and limited access to airport facilities.
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