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Sacked Kenya Ports Authority casual workers protest calling for job reinstatement

By Philip Mwakio | Published Sun, July 29th 2018 at 12:52, Updated July 29th 2018 at 12:56 GMT +3
Former Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) white card workers (casuals) display placards as they protest against a move by KPA to employ at least one hundred and seventy new workers. [Gideon Maundu/Standard]

Hundreds of sacked white card workers of various departments at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) yesterday converged at Mama Ngina drive in Mombasa and pleaded with the government to order their reinstatement.

The phrase White card refers to casual employees which KPA stopped hiring about ten years ago.

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The workers alleged yesterday that they have information that KPA was in the process of hiring 189 new casual workers.

The workers who numbered 247 carried placards urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and order for their reinstatement at their former work place which they left in 2009.

'' We have been jobless since 2009 when we were laid off. We had the former Transport Minister  Eng Michael Kamau promising to intervene after he told the National Parliament that we will be re-hired but to no avail,'' Mr Joseph Ayoro, the group's spokesman said.

He said that they have approached several leaders for help in the matter including Mvita MP Abduswamad Sharrif Nassir and the office of the Commission of Administrative Justice where KPA management asked for more time to look into the matter.

The sacked workers further alleged that while they are fit and committed to their work, they are baffled by daily reports that KPA was employing new workers while they had been forgotten.

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They said that they are particularly unhappy  to notice that that since  they were laid off, KPA  was still absorbing subordinates  from time to time and granting them permanent terms yet the principle of natural justice  would dictate that the 247 be given priority.

They condemned their sacking and said that they had their services terminated without ample reasons.

'' There are major developments at the Port  after its entrance was dredged to allow for larger vessels to dock and with the establishment of the modern Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) whose initial rail track starts right at the Port means there is lot of work to be done and adequate staff are required,'' Ayoro said.

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During the meeting, several resolutions were adopted pertaining to demands for reinstatement of the sacked workers.

'' We are experienced and still in good health to return back to work and help build the nation. This should never be taken for granted as our rights as human beings have been trampled upon after we were send packing,'' Jevaso Mutegi Kierene, former security officer at KPA  who was among those sacked  said.

The workers consist of 63 women and 184 men who used to work at the security department marine operations, terminal engineering, administration, Fire Brigade, convention cargo, container operations, electrical engineering and procurement departments respectively.

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