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Ethiopian Airlines layoffs met with resistance from the Union

Union argue that Ethiopian Airlines layoffs could be avoided although the airlines has suspended passengers flights to over 80 destinations

Ethiopian Airlines Layoffs
Bole Intentional Airport , Addis Ababa. Photo : borkena Ethiopian News

April 5, 2020

Ethiopian Airlines lines announced a decision to layoff Contract workers as the Airlines’ revenue temporarily plummeted due to the Coronavirus situation around the world. 

Ethiopian Airlines Group Basic Trade Union has opposed the decision, according to a report by Addis Admas, a local Amharic newspaper. 

Chairman of the Union is reportedly terminated as an employee on alleged grounds of “character assassination against the airline and for organizing employees [ apparently to resist the decision ]” as reported by Addis Admas.

The Union argues that the layoff “inconsiderate of  the existing situation and violates worker’s rights.” 

On March 29, Ethiopian Airlines announced that it has suspended flight to over 87 international destinations, and is currently flying to a little over twenty international destinations. Before announcing passenger flight suspension, the airline claimed that it had lost 190 million dollars in revenue. 

The Union argued that Ethiopian Airlines is operating Cargo flights and has a capacity not to lay off workers. 

Moreover, the Union continues to argue that the maintenance department is still operating and generating revenue.

The Union also claims that the airline did not lay off highly paid expatriate staff, and they see the decision to lay off Ethiopians as inappropriate. 

Captain  Yeshiwas, Chairman of the Union, is among those laid off. He says he was laid off because he “instigated workers for resistance, and that he blackmailed the airline.” 

Addis Admas said that it reached out to the management to get their say but did not get a response when they published the story on April 4. 

Ethiopian Airlines recently delivered COVID 19 prevention kits, donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, to 51 African countries. 

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