Chief Justice steps in to ease pressure on Industrial Courts
13 April 2012, 10:44
The Chief justice has designated all courts in the 47 counties presided over by Magistrates of the rank of Senior Resident Magistrate and above as special courts to hear and determine Employment and Labour relation disputes to ease the current backlog in the Industrial Courts.
Speaking today in Nakuru during this year’s Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) Rift Valley Branch, FKE Executive Director Mrs. Jacqueline Mugo was happy that the Industrial Court Act 2011 has also been entrenched into the judicial system with the same status as a High Court.
Mrs. Mugo revealed that the enactment of the industrial court Act 2011 had an immediate impact with 2, 240 cases reported in 2011 compared to 1, 630 in 2010.
Ms. Mugo said that most of the strikes witnessed in the country showed a culture of impunity in industrial relations where parties involved chose to operate outside the existing legal framework.
The FKE Director noted that in some instances parties completely ignored orders issued by the court stopping strike action, as was the recent case with Kenya Airports Authority’s striking workers.
She disclosed that the Federation has petitioned the government to re-evaluate the manner in which institutions have been categorized and to include essential sectors such as electricity generation and distribution and port services under ‘essential services’ to deter employees from striking.
Mrs. Mugo raised concerns from the business community about the poor state of feeder roads in some of Rift Valley and appealed to the Kenya urban Rural Roads Authority and Kenya Rural Roads Authority to prioritize and expedite repair of the affected roads to create a favorable business environment.
Commenting on the campaign mood that has engulfed the country, Mrs. Mugo called on employers to remain vigilant and refuse any move that can reverse gains so far achieved adding that employers must provide leadership at the workplace regardless of their political inclinations.
She further said that employers are leaders and opinion shapers in their own right and must make use of any available opportunity to preach the gospel of peace, co-existence and productivity based on a shared vision.
Mrs. Mugo acknowledged the federation’s desire to ensure that the country remains peaceful and productive during the electioneering period and beyond.
Nakuru Business Association Chairman Boniface Muhia called on the government to strengthen the public-private sector partnership to formulate policies that are business friendly to attract more investors into the country.
During the meeting Paul Matelong and Dr. Tom Serem were re-elected un-opposed as the Rift Valley FKE Branch Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively.
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