Economy

Court rejects union, Nairobi water firm’s labour pact

City-hall

An aerial view of Nairobi City Hall. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • The Employment and Labour Relations Court has declined to register a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) and Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company.
  • Justice Maureen Onyango said the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which was scheduled for registration on February 25, 2020, was negotiated without capacity and in violation of a previous court order.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has declined to register a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) and Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company.

Justice Maureen Onyango said the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which was scheduled for registration on February 25, 2020, was negotiated without capacity and in violation of a previous court order.

The judge argued that the water company had no capacity to enter into a recognition agreement with KCGWU during pendency of a recognition agreement with another trade union known as National Union of Water and Sewerage Employees (NUWASE).

She observed that the recognition agreement signed by NUWASE and the Water Company on July 11, 2006 was still in place and that fact was not contested.

"This being the case, NUWASE is the right union to enter into a collective agreement with Nairobi Water. It was thus fallacious to enter into a second recognition agreement with KCGWU," said the judge.

Part of the Recognition Agreement between the Water Company and NUWASE states that NUWASE shall be recognised by the company as the “Sole Labour Organisation representing the interests of unonisable workers who are in the employment of the company in all negotiable matters”.

Justice Onyango added that KCGWU must respect the unchallenged determination of the court that it is not the correct or proper union for employees of the water sector where the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company operates.

"It must also respect the unchallenged decision of this court and expunge employees of water and sewerage companies from the membership clause of its Constitution," said the judge.