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Raila Odinga firm workers strike over salaries

NYANZA
By KEVINE OMOLLO | January 30th 2014

By KEVINE OMOLLO

Kisumu, Nyanza: Over 300 workers at Kisumu’s Spectre International blocked the Kisumu-Busia highway protesting over four months’ salary arrears amounting to Sh40 million.

The workers, who burnt tires and plastic cans on the road for the better part of the morning, said the company’s management had failed to address them over their pay.

They chanted, “Haki yetu” (our rights) and carried placards with the words: “Raila, pay us our money,” at the firm’s entrance.

They also claimed the management had not been remitting their union contributions for the last four years amounting to Sh15 million and demanded a refund, saying the firm “seems to be collapsing”.

The workers’ chief shop steward, Philip Ulo, said the firm has been avoiding negotiations and instead threatening workers.

“The company has been off and on for the last three years and we blame the shareholders for failing to own up,” said Ulo.

He said the firm had mechanical breakdowns and lacked raw materials and stock, which indicated there were managerial problems.

“We have engaged Kenya Chemicals and Allied Union but promises that they will discuss the issues with the management have failed to bear fruit,” he said

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