Flower farm workers’ strike enters day four

Operations at Prima Rosa flowers in Nyandarua remained paralysed for the fourth day Wednesday.

This was after workers downed their tools alleging sexual harassment against female employees besides other forms of mistreatment.

The employees have since maintained the boycott of duties until their grievances are addressed.

Owners of the farm have incurred losses accruing to millions of shillings in those four days.

The workers want the ministry of labour to intervene and end the stalemate saying that the employer was violating their rights.

The workers said when they sent their shop steward (union rep) Evans Ratemo, to present their grievances to their employer he was fired.

A section of the employees who spoke to The Standard said no woman working at the farm could be promoted without giving in to sexual demands of some of the senior employees.

“We are irked by the behaviour of these people and when we complain they tell us to seek jobs elsewhere. They are taking advantage of the unemployment situation in the country to oppress us,” said†Ruth Bosibori.

Bosibori regretted that their grievances had not been addressed despite having forwarded them to the relevant officials and now demanded the government’s intervention.

Among their grievances, the workers cited lack of provision for sick off days as required by the laws; lack of tools of work like gloves and uniforms; lack of adequate drugs at the farm’s dispensary; harassment by security guards and general high handedness by the authorities.

They said if one gets sick or maimed in the course of duty, they get fired and get no compensation whatsoever.

They said they were being underpaid even compared to other flower companies in the region. They demand a salary review upwards saying that it is only then that they would return to work.

Efforts by The Standard to get comments from the farm management were futile as their phones went unanswered.

Journalists were also barred from entering the farm by security guards and armed Administration Police officers.
http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000046424&cid=4

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