, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 11 – The government has now directed the Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) to immediately end the City Hall strike and give dialogue a chance.
In a letter addressed to the union’s Secretary General Boniface Munyao, the Labour Ministry said that a conciliator had been appointed to commence talks between the two parties.
The conciliator Stephen Mbae was due to meet both parties at the Labour Ministry on Wednesday afternoon to try and find a lasting solution.
“I refer to the letter of the same reference dated 10th September 2013 in which the Industrial Relations Officer has appointed me to act as a conciliator in this dispute which exists between yourselves,” Mbae said in the letter.
The county administration and the workers’ union were due to broker a truce to end the industrial action which entered its seventh day on Wednesday.
“Parties are invited to a very urgent joint reconciliation meeting as shown herein above. Both parties are kindly requested to send fully mandated officials/officers who will be in a position to commit both organisations and avoid the issue of request for postponement of future meetings in order to go and consult,” he stated.
City Hall workers however insisted they can only resume work once all their dues are paid.
They refused a call by the Nairobi County Chief Medical Officer Robert Ayisi to go back to work and the Pumwani Maternity Hospital remained deserted as workers stayed away.
Ayisi was due to reopen the institution which was closed indefinitely but the attempt failed as there was no one to provide services.
At the City Funeral Home, no essential services were being offered either as the county workers kept away leaving those who went to claim bodies stranded.
“In our law as Muslims, when a person dies, he needs to be buried the same day. One of my relatives died yesterday and as yet, we have not been able to identify him and it seems that he will also stay overnight today,” said Hamisi Hassan who had camped together with his relatives at the City Funeral Home.
“We lost my uncle and it has taken about five days to see him. We really want him to be prepared so that we can give him a proper send-off but that does not seem possible now with the strike by county workers,” another distraught city resident said.
Some of those interviewed are pleading with the government to intervene and find a lasting solution.
“Right now we are being told that there is a strike and we have come all the way from Kakamega. We do not know what to do now,” another of those interviewed said.