Dock workers back JP, say Cord has failed them
Secretary says Jubilee solves problems and promises many benefits, better promotion
The 6,000-member Dock Workers’ Union, under the All Transport Workers’ Federation, has agreed to campaign for Jubilee.
TWF also includes the Seafarers Union of Kenya, the Long Distance Truck Drivers’ Union, the Aviation Union and the Shipping and Warehousing Union.
The dock workers union on Monday said it would back the government because it has solved workers’ problems in the shortest possible time. World over, unions supporting ruling parties benefit immensely and strikes have been halted, it said.
The deal with the union was struck when Deputy President William Ruto met DWU officials at the Mbaraki Sports Club two weeks ago. In 2013, the unions overwhelmingly supported the opposition, but it failed them, DWU secretary general Simon Sang said on Monday.
“The opposition failed to solve PAYE issues, but the government has,” he said.
Some DWU members say the decision shrinks the democratic space for members who support the opposition.
The union is adopting the South African strategy in which workers’ unions usually teams up with political parties for ease of handling problems.
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is the secretary general of the umbrella workers’ body. Sang said for four years, South African workers resolved problems amicably with the government.
Jubilee Party campaigns will start from Mombasa, go to Kilifi, then cover the nation. Politicking will be intense in Kilifi, the home turf Gideon Mung’aro, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s point man at the Coast.
AGREED TO REINSTATE UNION OFFICIALS
Sang also said they resolved to back Uhuru because his administration agreed to reinstate union officials, unfairly dismissed on account of strike over NHIF rates in 2015.
“Jubilee has agreed to support a parallel promotion scheme of service for Kenya Ports Authority employees. It recognises competence, experience and long service to operate alongside the one-sided, academic-oriented scheme of service currently in place,” he said.
Sang said Jubilee has agreed to review PAYE, especially where double taxation is evident, and to spread taxation to cover more taxpayers. He said there was double taxation on pension and transport allowances.
Sang said the government has confirmed it will stop privatisation of the second container terminal and, instead, adopt developed nations’ port model. He cited the Port of Singapore, the Durban Port and the Dubai Port.
He said workers’ protection will be included in the Jubilee manifesto, as provided under the ILO Convention No 144.
Sang said Uhuru has agreed to elevate Bandari College into a maritime university. He said he will convince Cotu to campaign for Jubilee.
Dock Workers’ Union secretary general Simon Sang during a press conference in Mombasa yesterday