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Kisumu county workers strike over unpaid salaries

By Kevine Omollo | March 17th 2020 at 08:45:00 GMT +0300

Kenya County Government Workers Union, Kisumu Branch secretary, Rashid Ondu. [Standard]

County workers who are members of a local union have downed their tools over unpaid salaries.

About 2,000 workers yesterday vowed they will not return to work until they are paid two months salary arrears.

The Kenya County Government Workers Union Kisumu branch secretary Rashid Ondu, who led the striking workers, said the administration had been given a one-week notice of the strike.

The workers are yet to receive their January and February salaries.

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“Yesterday (Sunday), we met Governor Anyang' Nyong'o to follow up on our earlier notice. He ordered our salaries to be paid promptly," said Mr Ondu.

"But still, there is no money in our accounts. We will not report to work until what we deliberated with the governor is honoured,” said Ondu.

Some of the departments that have been affected by the strike are agriculture, revenue collection, environment and social services.

Ondu stressed that the union iwas also demanding statutory deductions that have not been remitted to various entities such as the National Social Security Fund and the National Health Insurance Fund.

A spot-check by The Standard revealed that no one was present to collect revenue at local markets and parking lots.  

The workers spent the better part of the day congregated at Victoria Park, which is adjacent to the county government headquarters, where their leaders addressed them.

They asked all members of the union to stand in solidarity with their striking colleagues.

“We know some workers, especially those in departments dealing with money, have sneaked back to work so that they can illegally make an extra coin. We will not allow this to continue," said Ondu.

Efforts by a team from the county government led by County Attorney Idris Omondi to plead with the workers to return to work were ignored.

Mr Omondi said workers' salaries have been paid, adding that there was a delay before the money gets into their accounts.

“They can check their accounts today. They will get the money," said Omondi.

He stressed that already, the county government has entered into an agreement with various departments to ensure statutory deductions are remitted even when salaries delay.  

“Some of these delays are sometimes caused by the Exchequer failing to release county funds on time," Omondi said, adding, "It is actually the county administration that initiated the meeting with the workers."

Omondi noted there were plans to ensure workers were notified on time in case of expected salary delays

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o Kenya County Government Workers Union
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