Ministry urges tea workers to end strike

The Labour Ministry has asked the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers’ Union (KPAWU) to call off their strike, even as acrimony between the over 40,000 tea plantation employees and employers persists.

The ministry reminded the union that the court had declared the strike, which started on October 17, illegal.

“The court ordered the workers to return to work, and to forward the dispute to the Commissioner of Labour for conciliation,” senior deputy labour commissioner Isaiah Kirigua said.

Negotiations held over the past two weeks between the union and Kenya Tea Growers’ Association (KTGA) have not been successful, with the former demanding that the 2014/2015 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) be implemented.

The union also wants KTGA to start negotiations for the 2016/2017 CBA.

James Finlays has incurred losses running into millions of shillings following its workers’ strike that has brought its tea processing business to a halt and led to the destruction of its property.

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