The Star (Nairobi)

23 November 2012

Kenya: Striking Narok Council Workers Vow to Stay Put

NAROK County Council workers yesterday vowed to continue with their strike -- on its 10th day -- until their demands are addressed.

Local Government Workers Union branch chairman Koitaat ole Mereu said the council's use of the police to intimidate them will fail. He said the workers will not relent in the fight for their rights.

Yesterday, police broke down gates, which the striking workers had blocked, to make way for the council's chief officers to enter their offices.

The workers had barred the senior officers from gaining access to their offices to stop them from from tampering with vital financial records.

Addressing the press in Narok town yesterday, Mureu claimed the council is reluctant to address the workers longstanding grievances. He said the council owes workers close to Sh60 million in union dues, payment of staff vouchers, staff loans remittance and statutory deductions.

"The council's administration has failed to address administrative issues such as adjustment of salaries in line with promotion documents already prepared and issued by the Local Government ministry," said Mureu.

He called for the overhaul of the council's management, adding that the new officers should be posted to ensure effective service delivery at the council.

"What we are simply saying is that we will only resume work if the council remits the money they owe us," he said. Mureu said the council should ensure justice, fairness, end to impunity, corruption and intimidation in its operations.

Narok County Council Former Employees Association James ole Dikirr supported the strike saying the institution has not paid the retirees Sh56 million.

"The salary arrears arose from two unimplemented Collective Bargaining Agreements dating back to 1993 and approved by council resolutions," said Dikirr.

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