Union plea to Governor over County askaris

By Ben Leshau

Kenya County Workers Union (KCWU) has written to the office of the Narok Governor Samuel Tunai seeking intervention after over 800 County askaris were ordered to resign from the union.
The union National Secretary General, Jerry Kina termed the move to force the workers to vacate the union as illegal and in contravention with the International Labour Organization (ILO) laws. “We wrote to the Governor Narok last week appealing to him to intervene,” said Mr Kina.
The unionist who is also First Deputy Secretary General Kenya Union of Civil Servants said they were standing up for the rights of the workers.
A fortnight ago, the County Rangers Director Benjamin ole Tina issued a memo directing that all unionised askaris quit the union by May 5, this year.
Area KCWU branch officials led by Chairman Kennedy Ratia and Secretary General Joshua Koisikir also opposed the move terming it as intimidation of their members by the County Government.
The unionists said the ‘disciplined/uniformed’ officers’ tag should not be used to deny the askaris their right of voluntarily joining a trade union.
“In 2013, Justice Makau declared that the Labour Relations Act, which barred police officers from forming or joining a trade union, was null and void to the extent that it was inconsistent with Articles 24 and 41 of the Constitution and County askaris are no exception,”said Mr Kina.

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