Africa-Press – Kenya. A standoff ensued at the Nairobi City Hall after workers from both the Nairobi County and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) downed their tools in protest on Wednesday, October 13.
Through photos seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the more than 11,000 workers were seen assembling in large numbers outside the Nairobi City Hall calling for action. The workers, however, are seen making their demands through peaceful protests.
The main reasons why the workers took to the streets were those such as their delayed salaries, promotions, and lack of medical cover. They are accusing both the City Hall and the NMS of failing to meet their demands.
Other issues raised by the striking workers include; harmonisation of staff benefits, non-remittance of statutory deductions, non-payment of overtime and other allowances, non-payment of uniform allowances and other dues for retiring employees, failure to provide personal protective equipment and uniforms as well as failure to pay off-days for security officers.
The workers had earlier given a notice to both the acting Nairobi Deputy Governor, Ann Kananu, and NMS Director-General, Mohamed Badi, over their unresolved issues. However, the time limit they offered the two lapsed compelling them to take to the streets.
“Due to non-compliance and willful failure on your part to address these grievances, the union hereby invokes Section 18 of the Employment Act, 2007, to parade members at City Hall beginning Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at 8 am,” a letter by the Kenya County Government Workers Union Nairobi Staff Branch Secretary, Festus Ngari, and Nairobi City Branch Secretary, Benson Olianga, read in part.
The decision to hold protests and paralyse operations in Nairobi followed a unanimous agreement reached by the workers’ leaders on Tuesday, October 12. They also blamed Badi and Kananu for ignoring their concerns.
“Workers are unhappy and we are fast losing our patience. If the workers’ demands are not met then the strike will start on October 13, 2021,” the officials stated.
Nairobi Finance and Economic Planning Executive, Allan Igambi, appearing before the county assembly, confirmed that workers had gone for two months without salaries.
In regards to insurance, the workers were depending on the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover that lapsed in June this year. Since then, the workers have been engaging in a tag of war with both Kananu and Badi.