The Star (Nairobi)

7 December 2012

Kenya: Cotu Defends Court Ruling On KQ Workers

Central Organisation of Trade Unions has criticises business lobby groups that have faulted Industrial Court ruling over ordering the reinstatement of sacked Kenya Airways workers.

COTU said that employers should follow the laid down procedures before laying off staff failure to which such rulings will be inevitable. "The very employers who are now complaining about the ruling know very well that issues of retrenchment for workers are negotiable and must involve both parties that is the union and the employer,' said a statement from COTU.

"And every finer detail must be put forward to all the concerned so that those affected do not feel aggrieved and/victimized as deed happened with the Kenya Airways workers that prompted them to lodge their complaint with the parliamentary committee on labour as well as proceed to court."

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Kenya Federation of Employers and Institute of Economic Affairs have raised concern over the ruling's impact on the business environment and financial status of the airline.

Kepsa said it will hold discussions with the judiciary on business case rulings. Analyst Kwame Owino of the Institute of Economic Affairs said the decision will "harm" private companies ability to create employment in the country.

"This judgment goes out to alert employers that it is far better to provide employment under terms of casual labour or not to freeze employment," said Owino in an analysis posted on the IEA website on Tuesday.

However Cotu said: "Let the ruling send out a strong message to employers that issues of industrial relations should be handled carefully devoid of chest-thumbing and let employers exploit the country's enormous industrial relations machinery in handling employee-employer relations,"

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