The Kenya plantations agricultural workers union secretary Nandi county branch Mr. Eliakim Ochieng has said that tea workers in the region have nothing to smile at as they marked Labour Day, due to their plight meted to them by their employers.
Addressing journalists in his office at Nandihills town, Ochieng cited that tea workers especially those working on tea plantations as tea pluckers are going through hell due to bad treatment by their employers and poor pay saying majority of tea pluckers have been sent packing and their place replaced by mechanization.
Ochieng confirmed that mechanization process by the multi-national tea companies in Nandi have led to great job loss especially the youths whom majority have turned to criminal gangs due to the frustrations of losing their jobs therefore he wants the government to intervene and ensure tea workers plight are settled amicably.
He added that mechanization has contributed a lot in poor tea prices due to poor quality of tea harvested with machines he wants the companies to abolish use of machines and consider employing tea pluckers for better tea quality.
The secretary revealed that multinational tea companies’ management should come on board with workers to solve out their fate by fulfilling the CBA and a lasting solution is reached at.
“Since tea workers have no layoffs or unpaid leaves, the employer should work on the employee’s welfare accordingly, “he said.