By Kaleyesus Bekele
Employees of Ethiopian Airlines protested against the recent salary increment made by the management of the company to all the employees. At the annual staff meeting held on Tuesday at the Millennium Conference Hall, some employees of the airlines said that the amount of increment was not even. The management made a 100 to 180 percent increment to members of the cockpit crew and 15 to 35 percent to other employees. The highest amount went to aircraft technicians.
Employees of the airline told the management and the board members that the increment was not as much as anticipated, adding that it was “unfair”. Syoum Mesfin, board chairman of the airline, attended the meeting that took almost four hours. Some technicians complained that the management made more than 100 percent increment for the pilots while the technicians got only a 35 percent increment.
Other employees from marketing and other departments also complained. The employees are those who got a 15 percent increment. Some years back dozens of Ethiopian pilots left for the Middle East to join the mega carriers of that region backed by Islamic financing. In recent years Ethiopian had managed to significantly reduce the exodus of pilots by making successive salary increments. However, it seems to be the turn for the technicians who are migrating to the Middle East in large numbers. At one go up to 10 senior technicians are leaving the airline. The management of Ethiopian is trying to remedy the situation.
The outgoing Ethiopian CEO, Girma Wake, said that the management made salary increment to all its employees in the past five consecutive years, adding that management is trying its best to make employees of the airline happy. According to him, the airline ordered 40 state-of- the-art new aircraft and the airline should pay for the new jetliners on regular basis. “The jetliners are bought loans and these loans should be serviced. A huge sum is paid every time to service these loans,” Girma said. However, he said the airline will make salary increment based on the financial status of the company.
The designate CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, last week gave similar explanations to the technicians in a meeting called by their association.