Kenya power workers call off strike

September 19, 2010 12:00 am


NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 19 – The Kenya Electrical Trades and Allied Workers Union (KETAWU) has called off a strike by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company which was scheduled to begin on Monday after reaching a deal over most of their demands.

KETAWU general secretary, Ernest Nadome said they called off the strike after reaching an agreement with the power company which has agreed to meet all their demands.

"Yes, I can confirm the strike is off as they have promised to address all our grievances," he said.

This follows a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the two organizations after the Ministry of Labour stepped in to diffuse the stand off which could have paralyzed the operations of the KPLC.

The 8,000 unionised workers were protesting massive fraud by use of private contractors, delay in absorbing permanently long-serving casual employees and a decision to terminate overtime payment.

In a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on Sunday, the parties agreed that contracting of jobs be done through a joint committee comprising KPLC management and union members.

"A special central joint council meeting will formulate modalities of this arrangement and contractors will be allocated jobs depending on their performance and integrity," the memorandum read in part.

As a result, "the union therefore, hereby withdraws the 7 days strike notice that was to take effect on September 20, failing which this agreement is null and void."

Under the MOA, unionisable workers will be paid their subsistence allowances to day workers taken out of principal stations which will be equivalent to the lowest grade A-B of the unionisable employees.

Employees on three months contract will also qualify for maternity leave, according to the agreement.

The MOA was signed by Eng Joseph Njoroge and Ben Chumo for the KPLC and Ernest Nakenya of KETAWU while Ministry of Labour\’s P.N Macharia signed as a conciliator.



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