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Union says tea workers strike on despite threats from companies

BUSINESS
By | October 18th 2010

By Stella Mwangi and Titus Too

About 50,000 workers of multinational tea companies in Kericho, Sotik, Kisii and Nandi could down their tools on Monday to push for removal of tea plucking machines.

Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) reiterated the scheduled tea industry workers strike would go on despite threats from the multinationals.

The union warned the tea companies against threatening and victimising workers as the strike would kick off on Monday as scheduled.

Assistant General Secretary Issa Wafula said the strike was procedurally planned and had observed necessary regulations including serving the companies with a seven-day notice.

“The new Constitution guarantees the workers the right to go on strike and hold peaceful demonstrations and management should stop victimisation of workers,” Wafula said.

Law enforcement

Speaking in Nakuru, KPAWU’s executive board called on the Provincial Administration and law enforcement officers in areas likely to be affected not to be used by the companies into forcing the labourers back to work.

“The Government and the tea consumers also stand to lose a lot if these plucking machines are left to dominate the industry,” Industrial Relations Manager Meshak Khisa said.

Union’s National Treasurer Joshua Oyuga said more than 15,000 tea workers in Nandi and 40,000 in Kericho would take part in today’s demonstrations.

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