29 September 2012

Kenya: Ferry Services Staff Might Strike Over Pay

Photo: Caroline Mwakio/AllAfrica
Passengers board the ferry amid threats of workers going on strike

A strike is looming at the Kenya Ferry Services after employees faulted the management's competence in handling their pay increment agreement. The workers, who have been on a go-slow for two weeks, want the management to review their salaries. The move has slowed down operations at the Likoni crossing channel. The employees accuse the management of failing to honour the collective bargain agreement for five years.

In a meeting at the KFS office in Mombasa yesterday, the employees demanded an intervention by the managing director or they take further action. Their chairman Alphani Jita said they also do not have safety gears.

They blamed the MD-Hassan Musa for increasing his own salary by 60 percent among other allowances and failing to address junior staff terms of payment.

The junior managers and staff now want the MD to address their issue before October or they take further action which could see services at the ferry stall. "This is an issue that can be addressed and solved if the management can sit down with the employees and listen to them. If they fail to listen to the employees then things could get worse,' said Jita.

In a quick rejoinder, Musa said the issue is being addressed but has to follow the right procedure. He urged ferry employees to focus on their duty and leave it to the management to address their grievances.

"There is no need to panic. We know all this issues and we are working on them. Everything will be addressed accordingly. It's only that it has to follow a certain procedure. We will ensure that all is well," said Musa.

The Likoni crossing channel is the main connection between Mombasa Island and the south coast hence stalling of services could hurt business and tourism.

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