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Nyali Beach Hotel workers stopped from going on strike

Businessman Kamlesh Pattni is embroiled in ownership dispute over the hotel. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Businessman Kamlesh Pattni is embroiled in ownership dispute over the hotel. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nyali International Beach Hotel’s 146 employees have been barred from staging a sit-in to protest delayed salaries and allowances at the facility.

The 146 staff of the hotel, one of Mombasa’s oldest, had in December issued the hotel with a 14-day notice, that demanding the payment of their Sh9.7 million salary, allowance and service charge arrears failure of which would see them down their tools.

Nyali Beach filed the suit claiming the planned strike was illegal and insisted that it is not in arrears on salaries, allowances and service charge for its workers.

The hotel, which rebranded from Nyali Beach, has been undergoing difficult times for over a decade after it was placed under receivership by KCB Bank #ticker:KCB over a Sh400 million debt, and pressure from a vicious ownership wrangle between billionaire businessmen Kamlesh Pattni and Ketan Somaia.

Mr Somaia was last year sentenced to eight years in a UK jail for swindling millionaire investors of about Sh2 billion.

Mombasa High Court judge James Rika has ruled that going on strike before verification of the claims would be overblowing the issue that can be solved through a quick inquiry.

He has ordered the Labour Department to comb through Nyali Beach’s records to ascertain whether or not the hotel has indeed paid all arrears. “The dispute is whether payment has been made or not.

“It is a dispute which can be resolved by the Labour officer, investigating the employment records at Nyali Beach Hotel, in the presence of the representatives of the management and KUDHEIHA (union), and ascertaining if salaries and service charge have been paid,” Mr Justice Rika ruled.

The judge has however warned Nyali Beach Hotel’s management that they could be charged with wage offences if it is ascertained that the workers’ demands for salary, allowances and service charge arrears are genuine.

The Labour Officer has been ordered to file in court within 30 days a report detailing the true status of the Nyali Beach workers’ salary, allowance and service charge arrears after which Justice Rika will give further directions on the way forward.