Calls for rescue to sisal workers

The Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (Kpawu) has raised concerns over actions taken by a sisal farm associated with Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

The Union represents over 400,000 workers in plantation agriculture, tea, coffee and horticulture sectors in the country.

Kpawu says the farm’s management locked-out all 324 employees from the farm despite existence of a court order restraining the management from taking such an action.

“It is absurd that the management of Migotiyo Plantation in Baringo County has forcefully and with impunity sacked these employees without any due regard to the existing Labour Laws, evicted their children from the farm and even followed them to the neighbouring schools and forced them out before proceeding to acclaim that the cited employees and their families are strangers,” said Kpawu.

In a statement, the Union’s Deputy General Secretary Thomas Kipkemboi said the Union filed a case at the Employment and Labour Relations Court, which prohibited the Company from terminating, evicting and denying essential services or shopping facilities to the employees.

He noted that the management did not honour the court orders despite being duly served to them.

“Further, any attempts to drag the Education Ministry into the eviction saga are simply diversionary since the officers from Ministry of Education have no powers whatsoever to evict the employees and their families from the school compound where they have gone to seek alternative shelter after the management of Migotiyo farm evicted them from the farm.”

The employee’s children are indeed the worst hit after they were evicted as the company management demolished all the houses occupied by the employees, closed down all the shops, hospital and disconnected water.

“It is this action that led them to camp at the school compound where they got a place to put their belongings and children.”

Kpawu has appealed to both National and County governments to urgently intervene and rescue the workers and their families from further pain and agony being inflicted upon them by the farm’s management.

“These families lives are now in danger following the closure of all essential facilities and brutal manner in which they have been handled,” concluded Kipkemboi.

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