|SG Andabwa (l) address|
More than 50 private security firms in Kenya have been taken to court for failing to comply with the Minimum Wage Order.
Security guards have filed a case against 52 companies accused of paying less than the government stipulated salary. Through the Kenya National Private Security Workers’ Union, the guards are demanding the pay increase in arrears since 2009.
They claim over the salary four years, the firms had not obeyed the Minimum Wage Order issued by the ministry of Labour. In 2009, the guards were entitled to a salary increase of 18 percent, 2010 (20 percent), 2011 (12.5 percent) while this year, the government raised their salary by 13.1 percent.
Some of the companies include Akshar, Apex, Brinks, Lavington, JRS, Kenya Shield, Hatari, Delta, Race, Rainbow, Protective Custody, Ivory, Ideal,Gilley, Desert, Beta, Bedrock, Babs, Daseny, Conerstone, Cavalier, Eagle Watch, Kong, Kleen and Metro among others.
The union’s secretary general said the respondents had failed to honour various plea to have members’ pay increased. “We are demanding everything since 2009 and we shall not leave even a single penny,” he told a press conference yesterday.
He said they had resorted to legal redress since all options including a planned industrial action that was stopped by Labour minister John Munyes, had failed to yield fruits.
About three months ago, Munyes leaded with the guards not to go on strike and directed deputy Labour Commissioner Joseph Yida to look into the grievances of the guards. Field officers were given a 21-day notice to carry out inspections on some of the firms violating the Minimum Wage Order.
But inspections were never carried out after the field officers claimed they could not effect the directive since they had not been facilitated in terms of finance and logistics.
Andabwa said they were seeking audience with Munyes to know why his juniors could not implement his orders claiming that some of them had been compromised by employers.
“We therefore believe in dialogue in order to find a fair resolution to tame the strike notice which we had issued before on March 19, 2012 through your intervention of inspection of the said companies violating labour laws and order,” he observed.