Labour court bars KNH support staff against work boycott in perks dispute

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has temporarily barred the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) workers against going on strike.

Striking Kenyatta National Hospital workers on August 6, 2018. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 
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The Employment and Labour Relations Court has temporarily barred the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) workers against going on strike.

Justice Maureen Onyango Monday issued the order in a case in which the KNH sued Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha) and listed the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) an interested party.

This came on a day a go-slow by 4,700 support staff briefly interrupted services at the referral hospital staff following an allowances row.

Riot police were forced to lob teargas to disperse the staff who had gathered at the accident and emergency section of the hospital early yesterday.

“Kudheiha be and is hereby restrained from withdrawing labour and effecting a general strike with respect to any category of employees at KNH pending inter partes hearing of this case,” said the judge.

The row started after a conciliator, Ms Hellen Maneno, recommended that a service allowance must be paid to all employees including non-professional health workers and administrative staff.

The KNH now argues that it is unable to pay the entire staff the allowance before it gets a go-ahead from the SRC.

The support staff, through their union, reckon they had been discriminated against in the payment of the allowances.

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