Telkom Kenya Accused of Failing to Pay Workers


Telkom Kenya failed to honour a deal with 54 retrenched workers at the Gilgil Telecommunications Industry, the High court in Nakuru heard Tuesday.

Benson Okwaro, the general-secretary of the Communications Workers Union of Kenya, said the workers were left with no option but to seek redress through the courts after their employer abandoned them "in their hour of need". He denied that the union had not assisted the retrenchees, forcing them to file the case in their individual capacities.

Okwaro said the union could not stop the workers from demanding their rights and that was why they were in court. He said the union had entered into agreements with Telkom Kenya over the fate of retrenched employees at the Kenya College of Communications and Technology which were honoured.

Okwaro was testifying before Mr Justice Luka Kimaru in a case in which the 54 retrenched workers have sued Telkom Kenya for compensation. He said that the union handled GTI as a department of Telkom Kenya and that was why it entered into agreements with the mother company.

However, he said, the parastatal dishonoured the agreement between it and the union over the retrenchment of staff at GTI. At the time, GTI was a fully owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya and the parent firm used to pay salaries for some of the employees at GTI.

Another witness, Ezekiel Maisori, said about 200 retrenched workers had filed suits against Telkom in their individual capacities. During cross examination by Tom Ojienda, for the workers, Maisori who used to work as a personnel officer at GTI, said a number of circulars had been prepared by the firm in relation to the terms and services of the employees. "The circulars on salaries and housing allowances were however not implemented," he said. The case was adjourned to February 20.

The Nation