NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – Motorists in Nairobi enjoyed free parking on Wednesday as the strike by county workers entered its second day in a push for the implementation of a pay hike of up to 60 percent that was signed last year.
Nairobi City County Head of Parking Tom Tinega told Capital FM News that vehicles would not be clamped since some motorists may not have been served by parking attendants.
“Our people especially the attendants have come very early in the morning and they have gone to work. The only thing is that there could be other [people who are harassing them on the streets so they have removed their uniforms. As we go around, we can see that some vehicles have tickets but others do not have. It could be because of the fear that the others on strike may be harassing them,” he said.
The city authorities were on Wednesday mulling enlisting the assistance of National Youth Service (NYS) personnel to provide essential services.
Tinega expressed optimism that the situation will return to normal.
“If they do not see an attendant, their cars may not be clamped because we are taking a lot of precautions and I am also moving on along the streets to find out if there could be other problems and challenges that they are facing. So we will not clamp vehicles in areas where we find that there are no attendants,” he said.
In the meantime, Governor Evans Kidero has expressed his willingness to negotiate with the workers to end the strike which kicked off on Tuesday.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Kidero pointed out that residents need to receive services they pay for and it is unfair to deprive them of these.
The Governor explained that City Hall has a huge wage bill which consumes up to 80 percent of the county’s revenue and this makes it impossible to meet the workers current demands.
He urged the workers’ leaders to come to the negotiating table to create a platform for a long term resolution.
The Industrial Court had restrained the employees from going on strike after the county government moved to court.
It was seeking to halt the planned strike as it breached the mandatory legal provision of the Labour Relations Act and the employees were engaged in the provision of essential services in the city.
The workers want to compel the county government to implement a Collective Bargaining Agreement dated September 1 last year.
The county government told Justice Maureen Onyango that the revenue it collects from the city was not sufficient to implement the CBA or subsidise the operational costs of services.
The revenue collected in July 2013 amounted to Sh453,724,817 which in a year translates to Sh5,444,697,804.
Implementing the CBA would require an annual cost of Sh10,439,936,631 an amount that is nearly double the total annual revenue collected.