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Railway unions in rent tussle

Tenants at the Rahu building located along Mfangano Street, Nairobi and which is owned by the Rift Valley Railways workers, are a worried lot as two unions representing the workers are engaged in a fight over rent collection.

Rent related matters got complicated for the tenants last week when the Rift Valley Railways Workers Union (K) slapped then with a new directive indicating that they are supposed to remit all their future monthly rent payments to the union.

The tenants were previously paying rent to the Railways and Allied Workers Union which owned the building on behalf of the workers.

However, in the letter addressed to all the tenants, Mr Munayi Isaac Opondo, secretary general Rift Valley Railways Workers Union (K) however told the tenants that the new union was registered on December 21, 2012 to represent the interests of the workers in the Railways sector nationally.

“The registration of the said union was conducted by the fact that Railways and Allied Workers Union, with whom you signed Lease Agreement with, ceased long ago to represent the interest of the members who mandated them with that responsibility,” explained Mr Munayi.

In a recent meeting, the workers also resolved that with effect from November 1, 2013 that all tenants should deposit their rent to the new union’s account.

“All tenants shall be issued with new Lease Agreements in the next couple of days and only those who will have paid their November Rents in the mentioned account and receipt forwarded to Rift Valley Railways Workers Union (K) offices, shall be considered for the new lease agreements,” added Mr Munayi.

Separately, Mr Munayi also accused the workers employer, Rift Valley Railways (Kenya) and the officials of Railways and Allied Workers Union, of going against a court order by gazzeting the urgency fees yet there are orders stopping deductions of the Sh300 in agency fees from the salaries of the employees.

Industrial Court Judge Linet Ndolo had directed that the exercise be stopped pending the determination of a dispute with the Mr Munayi lead Union. The case will be mentioned on November 12, 2013.