6 February 2013

Kenya: Olkaria Plant Staff Down Their Tools

Over 200 workers from a company involved in the construction of the Olkaria IV power plant in Naivasha town downed tools over poor working conditions.

The workers from a Chinese company Sinopec paralyzed operations in the busy area forcing anti-riot police to intervene. The incident came hours after a 65-year-old Iranian Engineer was crushed to death by a reversing truck in the geothermal rich area.

According to one of the workers, they were overworked and paid low salaries. The worker said they worked for nine hours without any overtime and received Sh100 per day.

"We are involved in the piping in this geothermal project but the managers have been overworking and underpaying us," said one of the workers. Naivasha OCPD Charles Kortok said security had been intensified in the area as the parties involved engaged in dialogue.

"The workers and the management are in a meeting addressing issues that have emerged," said the police boss. Meanwhile unknown people made away with road survey equipments worth over Sh4m in the Olkaria area.

The move paralyzed the construction of roads in the area as police moved in to investigate the robbery. The OCPD said no one has been arrested though investigations are ongoing.

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