Tea workers Thursday got yet another temporary reprieve after the Labour Court extended orders stopping their employers from sacking them over the ongoing strike to demand the implementation of the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The Kenya Tea Growers Association, Unilever Tea (K) Ltd, Sotik Tea Company Ltd, Kakuzi Ltd #ticker:KUKZ, and Eastern Produce (K) Ltd will have to await further directions next week, when all the parties will be heard.
The order by Mr Justice Nzioki Wa Makau stops the companies from evicting the workers from their staff quarters, The workers are pushing for full implementation of the 2016/2017 CBA.
The companies argue in court papers that the current strike is illegal because it had been stopped by the court. The firms also continue to suffer substantial financial losses to their investment as tea, which is a key cash crop, remains unpicked in the estates.
The employees through the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) however argue that they are not in contempt of court and accuse the companies of acting in bad faith by failing to appear before the Labour Commissioner to negotiate the 2016/2017 CBA as recently ordered by Labour Court Judge Monica Mbaru.