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Dock worker wants union accounts frozen

12 August 2015, 11:43 Ken Wekesa

Mombasa - Mombasa industrial court is set to deliver a ruling on whether to freeze dock workers union accounts after two rival groups filed separate cases before an industrial court in Mombasa seeking orders to block election of new union officials and freezing of union accounts.

A member of the union, Geoffrey Mareko filed the first case seeking the suspension of the union’s financial activities.

In his affidavit, Mareko argued that the union lacks legitimate leadership following the sacking of 28 officials by Kenya Ports Authority in the recent strike against new NHIF rates.

“The sacked union officials among the 28 sacked KPA workers have been barred from entering the Port premises hence cannot transact any negotiation for the port workers,” said Mareko.

He alleged that Simon Sang, the union secretary general, has continued to withdraw money from the union bank accounts at Barclays Bank and Mombasa Port Sacco Saving and Credit despite lack of consent by the union secretariat.

Mareko had prayed the court to freeze the accounts until new officials are elected, and also called for a special conference for all members to elect new officials on August 15.

Read Also: Make laws that protect citizens from poverty cycles, MPs urged

However, Dock Workers Union sued Mareko for convening the special conference to conduct elections of the union’s new leadership.

Leonard Rufus Ochieng, the union representative in the suit stated that the respondent has not been authorized to convene the session and therefore has no power to convene such a conference.

Ochieng applied to the court to issue an injunction order restraining Mareko, agents, servants, any other person or government department acting in an official capacity from participating in the meeting or honoring its decision.

In supporting affidavit, Sang stated that unless the court issues the order, the union will suffer irreparable loss and damages.

“The respondent is causing confusion within the establishment of the claimant’s union and the employer (KPA) is using the same window to frustrate members of the claimant’s union,” he added.

Justice Onesmus Makau is set to give a ruling Wednesday.

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