Court reinstates sacked dock workers


Court reinstates sacked dock workers

The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Mombasa has ordered the 28 sacked Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) striking workers who were evicted from the authority’s houses be allowed back.

Presiding Judge James Rika issued the order allowing all workers who were thrown out of their houses under tight security until the court case over their sacking is determined by the court.

Speaking to journalists outside the court, Dock Workers Union Secretary General Simon Sang accused the KPA management of undermining the workers’ rights after they were fired after striking over the new National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) rates.

Sang has confirmed that the union has already filed another case demanding the reinstatement of the 28 dismissed workers. 

Thousands of job seekers on Saturday thronged the KPA Bandari College in Mombasa County to apply for the advertised job opportunities which have been created following the striking KPA employees.

The massive crowd of people who turned up to submit their documents led to a stampede which saw many people injured as police officers had a difficult time to control the aggressive people who came from all over the country.

The vacancies advertised include terminal tractor drivers, forklift operators, Top loader operator, winch operators, port clerks and coxswai.

No goods have been offloaded or allowed to leave the port as the striking workers have abandoned all berths and yards paralyzing the entire port and Kilindini harbor.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Gichiri Ndua says that they have so far lost 70 to 100 million shillings since the strike kicked off on Wednesday.

Led by their Secretary General Simon Sang, the striking workers have vowed to stay away from work until the new rates that have seen the deductions increase by over 400 per cent are revoked.

The strike comes after new premium rates saw formal sector workers pay higher contributions as of April 1st with individuals earning Ksh 5,999 and below contributing Ksh 150 while those earning Ksh 100,000 and above paying Ksh 1,700.

The strike comes even as a similar one planned by the Trade Unions Congress of Kenya failed to kick off in Nairobi on Thursday.

 

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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