Normalcy returns in tea sector as union strikes deal with KTGA

July 5, 2016
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The meeting was convened by Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie in the presence of Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett/FILE
The meeting was convened by Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie in the presence of Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5 – The Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union has struck a deal with the Kenya Tea Growers Association that saw employees resume duty on Tuesday bringing normalcy to the sector.

The meeting that happened on Monday also saw the parties agree on the implementation of 7 percent wage increase for 2014 and 8 percent for 2015.

Following the talks the parties will have a follow-up meeting on July 11, 2016 to discuss the implementation of the issues in dispute and if no settlement is reached the court process will be allowed to take its course.

The meeting was convened by Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie in the presence of Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett.

The parties also agreed that there will be no pay for work not done and no victimisation by either party subject to the applicable law.

Tea pickers in Kericho and Bomet counties went on strike last week over failure by various tea firms to implement a pay increment they were awarded by the Labour Court the previous week paralyzing operations in major firms.

The move comes even as the tea sector recovered in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics report, tea production recovered from a contraction of 27.2 percent experienced in the first quarter of 2015 to record a 71.1 percent growth owing to favourable weather conditions that characterised the quarter in review.

“Value of exports of coffee and tea increased by 7.6 percent and 24.5 percent respectively over the same period. These developments were primarily on account of improved international prices during the review period,” the report states.

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