Tea workers’ union issues strike notice over pay deal (Kenya)

By Magdalene Wanja | Business Daily, Kenya October 5, 2017

Tea plantation workers have issued a strike threat citing delays in the implementation of two salary deals signed with their employers in the past three years.

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) said tea plantation owners have not honoured two Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) signed in 2014/2015 and 2016/2017.

“We have already obtained a court order compelling the Labour Commissioner to convene a meeting to discuss the two CBAs before the end of the week,” Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli told a briefing in Nakuru Wednesday.

He said more than 100,000 workers in tea plantations owned by multinationals in Kericho, Sotik and Nandi counties would down their tools if their grievances are not addressed within a week.

“We have done a wide research which shows that the tea business is doing well globally and there is no justification for the employers’ failure to honour the CBAs,” Mr Atwoli said.

The union claimed that the 2014-2015 CBA required employers to implement 30 per cent of the deal but they only executed half of it before moving to the Court of Appeal to block the remaining 15 per cent.

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