18 July 2014

Kenya: Dock Workers Have Plan B for Mombasa Port

Dock workers in Mombasa want the port's performance improved without the facility being privatised.

Dock Workers Union officials yesterday said they have hired a professional to draft a better strategy as plan B, which will see the port's performance improved by July next year.

"The plan B will be presented to the President in a month," said union secretary general Simon Sang in a statement sent to media houses.

He said the union is consulting the Coast community and Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale governors.

Sang said the Kenya Ports Authority management and the government is lying to workers that the port won't be privatised.

He said the Community Charter that was launched by President Uhuru last month and KPA's Strategic Plan for 2013-17 provide for privatisation.

Page 14 of the Charter suggests transforming the Mombasa port into a landlord port by 2016. Landlord Port is a model where the operator of core services is a separate entity from the main authority.

"In this case KPA shall only own the infrastructure while the provision of services will go to private or any other entity," Sang said.

He said before the government privatises the facility, it should consult the Mombasa county government, the union and the Coastal community.

The union has also proposed a target-based performance contract to be signed by workers as opposed to KPA's "Wajibika" strategy, which they said is non-committal.

According to the union officials, they will raise moves per hour from current 19 to 30 as opposed to management's 25 moves by at 2017.

"Instead of privatising stevedoring and shore handling, we intend to implement reformed permanent gangs arrangement with agreed performance target," Sang said.

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