City commuter train service resumes after strike

Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Nairobi commuter train service has resumed after workers called off a four-day strike over reduced salaries and job contracts following the termination of Rift Valley Railway’s (RVR) tenure as Kenya’s railway operator.

The staff comprise drivers, attendants, engineers, security personnel, and welders.

“We’ve resumed operation upon the advice of our lawyer. The court order we filed to block our transfer to KR stated that we are supposed to be at work to be paid previous, current and future salary and benefits up to the time the case shall wind up,” said the worker’s representative who sought anonymity for fear of victimisation.

The cheaper commuter train that plies the Dandora, Ruiru, Umoja, Makadara, Imara Daima, Embakasi, Kibera, Kikuyu and Soykimau estates had been halted since last Wednesday, forcing residents to rely on costly bus services.

RVR workers in September moved to court to block their transfer to KR until their union representative is included in the process leading to their absorption by the State corporation.

They argued that exclusion of their union representative may expose them to unfair terms and unfriendly working environment.

The employees, who yet to receive their September and October pay, were last Tuesday offered a six-month contract and pay cut by more than 20 per cent by the new employer — Kenya Railways, sparking off the protests.

Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina said workers not keen on the new contracts had the option of quitting, pointing a protracted dispute.