Communication workers lobby govt for Posta bailout plan

June 18, 2017 (2 weeks ago) 4:05 pm
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The Union Secretary General Benson Okwaro opposed the retrenching of some 1,280 workers saying the cash-strapped agency needs financial support to enhance its transformation/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – The Communication Workers Union on Sunday urged the government to consider a bailout plan for the financially struggling Posta Corporation of Kenya.

The Union Secretary General Benson Okwaro opposed the retrenching of some 1,280 workers saying the cash-strapped agency needs financial support to enhance its transformation.

“They must also encourage PCK to do the business of communication in a manner that embraces technology and I think the best way is also to introduce the issue of a bailout plan and give them a 1-2 year time frame, with which to turn this country about,” he said.

“We reject the insinuation that if you take members home, then we shall make profits, it has been done in the Kenya Airways, Kenya Railways but it has not yielded out any profits.”

The recommendation is part of task-force report mandated by the ICT Ministry to draw a turnaround plan for Posta which recommended a staff audit to shave the corporation’s wage bill and ensure that employees are equipped with technological skills

He said PCK was once a strategic asset in the country, but had been overtaken by technological modernization that have seen Kenyans opt to send emails rather than letters.

Okwaro also said government offices should be required to use Posta services instead of private courier firms or even picking up their goods themselves rather than using Posta.

The task-force report says Posta spends Sh1.7 billion on annual wages for its 3,200 employees, which takes up 65 per cent of its revenue.

An estimated 40 per cent of Posta employees are aged 55 years and above, while about 640 (20 per cent) have offered to go on voluntary retirement by next year.

However, Posta is unlikely to take up the offer because it is in need of financial support to pay terminal benefits.

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