City workers down tools over June pay

More than 10,000 Nairobi City County workers downed tools yesterday to demand their June salary and vowed to stay put until they are paid. Operations remained paralysed in most offices as workers converged at City Hall to demand for their pay which they had been promised would be in their bank accounts by last Friday.

The workers were shocked to find that Governor Evans Kidero and his team were not in the office and opted to leave after waiting for several hours. “We have been here since morning and we want to know why our members have not received their salary for last month when other workers are expecting their July pay,” said Kenya County Government Workers Union deputy general secretary Raphael Angore.

He added that if the workers do not receive their pay by today (July 19), they will mobilise all county workers even those working in essential sectors to down tools and join them in the streets to demand for their delayed pay.

“Currently, our essential departments are fully operational but if the employer continues to push us to the wall, the worst will happen and I know that the employer will not like the consequences,” he added. He warned the employer to stop using some of the members to break the strike by giving them hefty pay hikes because the union is bigger than an individual.

“We know that some of us have been calling members and telling them that they should go back to work because the money has been paid but I want to tell the employer that we cannot be blackmailed,” he said.

However, Nairobi City branch secretary general Benson Olianga, defended the workers saying there was a slight difference between the two branches which handle Nairobi county staff issues.

“I would like to make it clear that I didn’t receive any money from the employer but I was not involved during the planning of the strike. This union is one and we are fighting for the interests of our members,” he said amidst boos from the workers. Nairobi county workers are registered under two branches Nairobi City branch and Nairobi staff branch.

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