Road construction staff on strike

Casual workers with Chinese Construction Company in Solai demonstrate along Maili Kumi Solai Subukia road on August 6,2018.They are accusing the company of mistreatment: [PHOTO: Harun Wathari]

Casual employees building Maili Kumi-Subukia road in Nakuru have downed their tools, citing mistreatment and harsh working conditions.

The workers did not report to work yesterday, and vowed to stay away until their grievances were addressed. They were working at the Solai-based site for Chinese International Henan and Corporation Company Ltd.

Some of the issues they raised are receiving arbitrary warning letters and working overtime without pay.

Elijah Ng’ang’a, a driver, said the management had also been deducting their pay without consultation "whenever they make small mistakes".

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Whereas a majority of casual labourers are not conversant with Chinese language, the employer is accused of communicating to them in Mandarin.

“Look, we have been having communication barrier with the employer because documentation is done in Chinese, information we do not understand,” said Ng’ang’a.

The management is also accused of deducting Sh550 monthly from their salaries to cater for their medical expenses through the National Hospital Insurance Fund yet the money is allegedly not remitted.

Another employee Stephen Gachiar said other deductions include Sh1,000 when tippers get a tyre puncture, Sh1,000 for carrying a passenger in the vehicle, Sh500 for paving way for small cars along the road during work.

Vincent Hsu, for the company, dismissed the claims saying contractor was adhering to labour laws.

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