More than 850 Nairobi County casual workers will have to wait until June to be paid their salary arrears, which add up to Sh62 million, Governor Mike Sonko has said.
The workers, who went on strike yesterday to protest unpaid dues for the past nine months, are drawn from the city’s 85 wards and had been engaged in a beautification programme and garbage collection activities.
Led by Fazia Karaz from Utawala, the workers said downing their tools was the only way they could get the county to listen to them in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms Karaz said the casual workers were contracted last year in April to unclog the drainage system within Nairobi at Sh30,000 a month. The city’s 85 MCAs gave out 10 names of people who were to be contracted for the work.
“We signed the contracts through our ward administrators and they asked us to indicate our phones and ID numbers.
When we started in April, we were told we will be on probation for three months before confirmation for permanent jobs, but would still get paid,” she said.
Ms Karaz, however, said even before their pay was stopped, it had gone down from Sh30,000 in May to Sh15,000 in June and Sh16,000 in July. “We closed our businesses to sign contracts with the county.
We sensed trouble when they told us we were working on voluntary terms, yet we had contracts signed by ward administrators,” said Justus Owino, a casual worker.
Mr Sonko said the workers would be paid once a supplementary budget, to be tabled in the county assembly this week, is approved. Chief Officer for Finance Halkano Waqo confirmed that the county had failed to pay the workers.
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