Flower farm workers call off strike

May 16, 2010
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union has postponed an intended strike slated for Monday to allow for negotiations for signing of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Agricultural Employers Association.

Union Secretary General Francis Atwoli said the decision is a result of a court order which called on the two parties to resume talks from Monday and try to resolve issues before 27th of this month.

He said: “We have only postponed the industrial action, we have not called it off, so that we can see what proposals the employers have to bring to the table because they have been ordered by the court to sit and talk with us.”

Mr Atwoli said, workers need decent allowances, protective clothing and other farm tools to ward off effects of industrial chemicals.

He however said that 20,000 unionisable workers in the flower sector would go on strike if their grievances were not addressed.

Mr Atwoli told off politicians and the Kenya Flower Council for interfering in the industrial relations saying they have no mandate to do so.
 
He said: “Employers in the flower sector have their representative in the AEA and FKE and they are the ones who are authorised to discuss with us the welfare of workers in the sector but not Kenya Flower Council.”

The flower sector currently employs more than 60,000 people directly and two million indirectly.

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