|Workers from various flower farms in Naivasha protest outside Finlay flower farm after they were barred from attending a meeting called by COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli. (Photo:Anthony Gitonga)|
By Antony Gitonga
The workers from various flower farms blocked the gates of Finlay farm (formerly Homegrown) where the meeting was being held for hours demanding that they be allowed in.
During the incident, the press was also locked out as anti-riot police were called in to deal with the agitated crowd.
Atwoli had gone to the flower farm to address the workers grievances.
Addressing the crowd after the meeting, the unionist hit at the flower farm for locking out the workers.
He put on notice errant farmers who were underpaying and mistreating their workers noting that their time was up.
“Am disturbed by the move by the flower farm to lock out the workers and the press as this takes us back to the old dark days,” he said.
Atwoli said that more workers in the horticulture sector had joined the trade union adding that he was committed to fighting for their rights.
One of the workers representatives, Simon Kalama accused employers in the flower farms of underpaying their workers.
He revisited the sacking of over 800 workers from Plantations Plant adding that Atwoli had failed to address their fate.
“We wanted Atwoli to address the continued oppression of workers in the flower farms but he has failed to do that,” he said.
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