22 January 2013

Kenya: Eldoret Council Workers Stage Strike Over Pay

More than 1,200 Eldoret Municipal Council workers today took to the streets protesting inaction by the Local Government over unpaid dues.

Speaking to the press, Kenya Local Government Workers Union chairman Evans Makokha said the ministry had failed to honour a collective Bargaining Agreement they had signed last September.

He faulted minister Paul Otuoms for trying to pass off payment of their salaries to the salaries and remuneration commission. "This is not right since our agreement was signed on September 19 and it was upon the minister to issue an order for the council to pay," he said.

According to the agreement negotiated by workers and local government, the lowest level worker is expected to get a 60% increment while the highest level is expected to get 30%.

Business came to a stand still as angry workers matched along the streets chanting anti-Otuoma slogans condemning for ignoring their grievances.

They vowed not to go back to work until their issues are addressed saying they have given the Local Government a seven day notice to pay their salaries.

They threatened to paralyze all activities including water supply, sewerage and revenue collection starting tomorrow unless the government pays their dues in total.

They also stormed into the adjacent Wareng Municipal Council Offices and flashed out workers demanding they join them in the demonstration. "We cannot demonstrate alone while you sit here and pretend all is well," they said.

Makokha said if nothing is done, over 70,000 Municipal workers across the country will also down their tools in a bid to have the ministry honour its promise.

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