Dock work­ers back JP, say Cord has failed them

Sec­re­tary says Ju­bilee solves prob­lems and prom­ises many ben­e­fits, bet­ter pro­mo­tion

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Coast - ERNEST COR­NEL @OduorErnest

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.

/JOHN CHESOLI

Dock Work­ers’ Union sec­re­tary gen­eral Si­mon Sang dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Mom­basa yes­ter­day

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