NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Mombasa has ordered Kenya Ports Authority to readmit 28 sacked workers back to their staff houses pending the hearing of their case.
Justice James Rika said the workers were illegally evicted from the houses for participating in the countrywide strike over NHIF deduction.
The Dock Workers Union General Secretary Simon Sang stated that the court is expected to deliver a ruling later this month on the case where they are challenging their unfair dismissal and eviction from KPA staff quarters.
“The orders that we have got are two. All those who were evicted from their houses have been ordered to go back to their houses with immediate effect. On the other issue that is unfair dismissal from work, they will go back to court on the 24th of this month for a ruling,” he said.
KPA said that it lost over Sh1.2billion of revenue during the three days strike. The Authority further estimates that businesses in East and Central Africa region lost over Sh1billion.
KPA managing Director Gichiri Ndua said KPA lost over Sh200 million due to the strike which he termed as illegal.
By Saturday, the port had a backlog of about 2,500 containers but the management said they expect to clear it by Monday. The Dock Workers Union was the first to make good the strike threat and paralysed operations at the Port of Mombasa.
Public school teachers, university lecturers and non-teaching staff as well as other civil servants affiliated with TUC Kenya were called upon by their union leaders to stand in solidarity with the dock workers and commence protesting the new NHIF rates.
Other than the Dock Workers Union, KNUT and UKCS, other unions affiliated with TUC Kenya are the Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU), Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU), the Kenya Union of Employees of Polytechnic Colleges (KUEPC) and the Kenya National Union of Service Employees (KNUSE).
The unions said they would only call off their general strike when the NHIF board revoked the rates it gazetted in February and implemented in April; reinstating the previous Sh320 deduction.
They also demanded a refund of any and all amounts above that, already deducted from their members in the months of April, May and June.
The new rates are graduated between Sh150 for those who earn less than Sh6,000 and Sh1,700 for those with a gross income above Sh100,000.