Itare Dam workers push for double pay, stay away

The site of the multi-billion shilling dam. file PHOTO | NMG
The site of the multi-billion shilling dam. file PHOTO | NMG 

Works at the controversial multi-billion shilling Itare Dam in Nakuru County were paralysed for a third day in a row after workers downed tools demanding better pay.

The construction site at Ndoinet in Kuresoi South on Thursday remained deserted as dozens of workers kept off.

“We are tired of exploitation. Our demands are reasonable and labour laws have been ignored since the project started,” said Dedan Mucheda, one of the workers.

Casual labourers are paid Sh11,000 per month but are demanding Sh27,000. Electricians of Grade One get Sh25,000, but are proposing Sh45,000 monthly salary.

Along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway, more than 200 workers camped outside the company’s offices; they were later joined by officials from the Kenya Building Construction and Allied Workers Union.

The union’s Nakuru secretary Maurice Shisoka said efforts to reach an agreement with the company on Tuesday hit a dead end when company’s officials insisted dialogue could only take place after resumption of work.

By on Thursday, there were reports that about 600 workers had been suspended for staying away without a nod.