Unions fight for Nairobi water firm employees
A fresh row is looming at the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) as unions tussle to be recognised as the legitimate representative of employees.
This comes after a new union – National Union of Water and Sewerage Employees (Nuwase) – wrote to the company’s management that they had replaced Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) as the workers’ representatives.
In a letter dated March 22, the union informs the company to henceforth deal with it directly on matters affecting the welfare of their employees.
“The Court of Appeal set aside the decision of the High Court in which it was erroneously stated that the Kenya Local Government Workers Union was the only appropriate union for the employees,” read the letter in part
But, in a quick rejoinder, KCGWU general secretary Roba Duba dismissed the claim, saying a court cannot influence union membership.
“Only a member can decide which union to belong to and not the court. We have a recognition agreement with NCWSC and employers deal with the employees’ union of choice,” Mr Duba said on Tuesday in Nairobi.
Mr Duba said that for a union to sign an agreement with an employer, it has to have a simple majority, claiming KCGWU has 98 per cent of all the employees while Nuwase has only 57.
He also dismissed claims by the secretary-general of Nuwase, Mr Elijah Awach, that the workers had left KCGWU and joined the new union feeling demotivated over a CBA negotiated on their behalf and poor payment of pensions.
“We want to tell the registrar to avoid the temptation of registering splinter trade unions. They only have short term benefits,” said Mr Duba.