More teargas for Nairobi county workers as losses mount

September 5, 2013 2:53 pm
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Tens of workers had camped outside City Hall demanding audience with Governor Kidero when police moved in and lobbed teargas canisters at them/MIKE KARIUKI
Tens of workers had camped outside City Hall demanding audience with Governor Kidero when police moved in and lobbed teargas canisters at them/MIKE KARIUKI
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – City Hall was counting losses amounting to Sh35 million in revenue, even as anti-riot police were deployed for the second day to disperse protesting workers in the Central Business District.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said that the strike was having a negative impact on the county’s revenue base and urged workers to return to work.

“Let us be dedicated. Let us bring ourselves out so that we can serve the people of Nairobi with dedication. That is what we are there for as a County Government,” he said.

The Governor stated that there were workers who had reported to work and those who did not will be deemed to have absconded their duties.

“People are back to work and the few who did not turn up for work will be treated as people who have deserted their responsibility. We collect an average of between Sh25million to Sh30 million,” he revealed.

“On the first day we collected only eight and the second day 16 million so we have lost about Sh35 million.”

The workers however remained defiant as they chanted slogans at the entrance of City Hall promoting police to move in and smoke them out using tear gas.

The workers on Tuesday defied a court order not to strike over their demands for the county government to implement a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that would see them earn better salaries.

Tens of workers had camped outside City Hall demanding audience with Governor Kidero when police moved in and lobbed teargas canisters at them.

Some workers were injured as they scampered for safety.

The workers dumped garbage to block the entrance into City Hall.

Earlier, police had said they were looking for officials of the Kenya County Government Workers Union who had defied a court order by calling for a demonstration outside City Hall.

This is after the Interim County Secretary Lillian Ndegwa, through lawyer Tom Ojienda, successfully sought a warrant of arrest for the union officials.

The county government had earlier this week moved to court seeking to halt the planned strike as it breached the mandatory legal provisions of the Labour Relations Act.

But the union officials were defiant as they led other workers to a parade outside City Hall, barring motorists from using the busy nearby streets.

Kidero is also said to have held a crisis meeting with his top county executive members, where they resolved to immediately hire the services of National Youth Service officers to avert the crisis in the city.

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