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Kenya : KPA, union differ over new perks for port workers

D 27 août 2010     H 22:25     A PATRICK BEJA     C 0 messages

A controversy between a union and the Kenya Ports Authority is looming after a conciliator proposed a 15 per cent windfall for unionisable employees.

Union officials said on Thursday KPA’s 6,400 members of Dock Workers Union should expect a boom within the next ten days.

An excited general-secretary Simon Sang said dockers will be paid 20 months arrears from January 1, last year.

"It was a give and take arrangement. The Ministry of Labour conciliator gave workers 15 per cent increase in house allowance with effect from January 1, last year," he said.

He added : "They will, therefore, be paid 20 months arrears of the house allowance any time within ten days from now."

But KPA said the house allowance package was just a recommendation by the Government official who presided over the talks.

The allowance was negotiated over a period of two years and was characterised with strike threats at the port of Mombasa.

dispute resolution

Monthly house allowance for the lowest paid employee rises from Sh7,500 to Sh8,625.

The highest paid worker will take home Sh15,525 up from Sh13,500 following the deal.

Mr Bernard Osero, KPA public relations manager, said parties involved in the talks were going through the proposals and would meet again after a week.

"Parties are supposed to review the recommendations of the conciliator in the next seven days," explained Osero.

The lowest paid dockworker will take home Sh21,000 in arrears, while the senior most staff will pocket Sh42,000.

The house allowances were for the 2008-2009 period, said Sang.

He said the union had demanded a 30 per cent increase.

The deal was hammered in Nairobi last Tuesday in a dispute resolution meeting chaired by Mr Isaiah Kirigwa, a senior Ministry of Labour official.

A fortnight ago, the union issued a strike notice at the port following a deadlock in the house allowance talks.

This prompted the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Labour to intervene. They appointed the conciliator to negotiate the house allowances afresh in Nairobi.

"The union thanks the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Labour for the role they played in the negotiations," said Sang.

He said negotiations for the 2010-2011 package will start next Tuesday.

Negotiations for salaries and allowances at the port have been characterised with strike threats over the years.


Source from : The Standart (Kenya)