Dock workers laud Parliament directive on CBA with ports management

The Dock Workers Union (DWU) has welcomed the decision of the National Assembly calling for the implementation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Union and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) management.

The National Assembly Committee on Labour and Social Welfare recommended to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to reconsider its position and urgently approve a two-year CBA between the DWU and KPA.

DWU General Secretary Simon Sang said the National Assembly’s recommendation is going to pave the way for further negotiations for the 2022/2023 CBA.

On Thursday, the Labour Committee, led by Mwea MP Kibinga Wachira, presented its report and recommendations before the floor of the house.

The committee had visited Mombasa in August on a fact-finding mission on the stalemate, following a petition brought to parliament by Mvita legislature Abdulswamad Nassir.

“In conclusion, the committee recommends that SRC reconsiders its decision and urgently approves the two-year collective agreement to pave the way for the financial year 2022/20223 negotiations and unlock the stalemate on the payment of the employees’ dues negotiated for the financial year 2021/2022,” said Wachira.

Dock wokers union Secretary General Simon Sang addressing journalists at the Kenya Ports Authority entrance flanked by union members

While addressing the media outside KPA on Friday morning, Sang said that the long-standing stalemate between the union and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) was over.

He said the stalemate on the implementation of the CBA had affected the morale of over 5,000 employees.

Early this year, the workers’ union and KPA signed a salary increment CBA of 10 percent spread over two years beginning 2021 to 2022.

“For the first time in many years the morale of KPA employees is at its lowest, this is because of the crude manner in which management is handling workers’ issues especially the HR office,” said Sang.

Sang insisted that there was no law allowing SRC to deny KPA from implementing the CBA, adding that KPA did not require to get funds from the government to implement it as it was self-sufficient.

The general secretary stated that any reforms by the authority should only focus on enhancing performance and not touching on the salaries and wages earned by the employees.

“Reforms at KPA should enhance performance and not touch on the wages and salaries earned by workers, this will demoralize the morale of workers,” said Sang.

In terms of port performance, the union stated that the port was performing below per based on the 2018/2019 CBA that envisioned the port to be among the top in Africa in transshipment business by 2022.

They also called for the devolving of ports to be handled by counties.

At the same time, DWU has thrown its support behind Mvita MP Nassir to become the next Mombasa County Governor.

“We are asking future leaders from the coast to spearhead devolution of port services and resources including ports, harbors, and labor matters and we expect this revolution to be led by Nassir because he is capable, straightforward, and committed,” said sang.

The union also accused a section of its members of colluding with some management officials to split the union.

They gave a stern warning to those behind the division, promising to deal with them.

“We are going to crush them to death politically. All those who think that they can collude with management to split the union, let them try it and see,” said sang.

  

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