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November 17, 2018

Chinese firm denies sacking 1,000 SGR workers at Mahi Mahiu

SGR works
SGR works

China Communications Construction Company, the contractor of the Nairobi–Naivasha SGR Phase 2A project has refuted claims that it has fired 1,000 staff at the Maai Mahiu sub-section.

Over the past few days, the workers at the sub-section office No. 4 have been engaging in a strike, raising issues on remuneration and an improvement of the working conditions. 

The company, however, said since the start of the strike, they have been having discussions with the workers’ representatives on how best to handle these issues.

"We would like to reaffirm that the basic minimum wage rate at the SGR sub-section offices is higher than that set under the Regulation of Wages (General) (Amendment) Order, 2017 that was effected after the 18 per cent increase in minimum basic wage," read part of a statement to newsrooms.

The company said from the on-going negotiations, more than half of the 975 workers at the sub-section office are ready to report back to work.

"There are, however, a few workers that are threatening more employees from reporting to work and are thus keeping off their work stations, fearing for their lives. We have already notified the local authorities about these threats and legal action will be taken for any employee found to be threatening their fellow colleagues," the statement quoted.

It further reads, "CCCC is categorical that it has not fired any of its employees. We have posted the notice informing all employees to report for duty. Any employee who will not have reported by the end of January 8, 2018 will be deemed to have absconded duty and thus have his position declared vacant".

The company argues the workers have a right to engage in strike as long as they follow the laid down procedures as per Kenya’s labour laws.

Last week transport was interrupted on Mai Mahiu-Narok road as the workers blocked it to protest killing one of them.

They had from Wednesday downed their tools protesting poor working conditions and poor payments.

Read:Mai Mahiu SGR workers strike over poor working conditions

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