FKE backs dispute resolution as industrial action cases rise

FKE backs dispute resolution as industrial action cases rise
Lecturers on strike.

Industrial action amongst Kenyan civil servants goes without mentioning with the country’s workforce being underpinned by constant and regular strikes over the past decade.

Currently, the education sector has been at a loss with lecturers taking leave of classes to protest what they term as the lack of implementation of the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) agreed upon with their employers-the government.

Attempts to resolve the standoff through dialogue by the respective parties in the stalemate have repeatedly bore no fruits with the strike now on its 42nd day.

The Federation of Kenya identifies constructive engagement amongst stakeholders in the labour sector as the key to resolving the ever persistent industrial strives in the country.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) executive director Jacqueline Mugo conquered with the civil servants struggle for improved wages but reflected on industrial action being a thorn in the flesh with regards to their negative effects on the Kenyan economy.

“If you cumulatively quantify the losses we incur as a country both directly and indirectly, they are huge. Workers have a right to demand improvements on their terms and conditions of service but these needs to be balanced with the right of the enterprise to survive. We do not want to reward those in service now to the extinction of the very enterprise that employs them,” she said.

Ms Mugo further spoke on the need to resolve the distrust between the parties involved in industrial stalemates and refers to the existing structures in place as an escape to the ever emerging strikes in the labour sector.

“Lack of trust and good faith between parties in labour stalemates and the spirit of impatience is the problem. Parties must come to the negotiating table in good faith. The system is there and works very well around the world. The system is however founded on a spirit of goodwill and commitment to the process,” she added.

The country is expected to continue to bear the brunt of sustained industrial action among its civil service with the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers expected join in on the action through the issuance of a strike notice today following a breakdown in negotiations which were to result in the agreement of a CBA to keep the practitioners at work.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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