Union seeks bailout for state firms KBC, Posta on 'verge of collapse'

The Communication Workers’ Union wants President Kenyatta to bail out the two State corporations.

Tuesday March 1 2016

City Hall officers park a truck at the entrance of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation over non-payment of Sh2 billion in land rates.

City Hall officers park a truck at the entrance of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) over non-payment of Sh2 billion in land rates. The KBC and the Postal Corporation of Kenya are on the verge of collapse and the government should step in to save them, a trade union claimed on Monday. PHOTO | LILLIAN MUTAVI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) are on the verge of collapse and the government should step in to save them, a trade union claimed on Monday.

The Communication Workers’ Union demanded the immediate reconstitution of the KBC and the PCK management.

The union now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and bail out the two State corporations by ensuring the next chief executive officers are up to the task.

Union officials said the two organisations were facing serious management problems that were getting out of hand by the day.

“Truth be told, the two State corporations are facing serious financial problems due to their style of management and it is because of this reason, we as a union want President Uhuru Kenyatta to step in and save the two critical organisations from sinking,” said General-Secretary Benson Okwaro.

Mr Okwaro said the once profit-making State corporations were incurring huge losses every month and unless the government stepped in, the services rendered to citizens by the organisations would deteriorate further.

UNPAID FOR NINE MONTHS

He said money deducted from the salaries of more than 5,000 union members to be remitted to respective statutory bodies such as the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and pension schemes, savings, credit and cooperative organisations (saccos), and to pay off bank loans had not been submitted for the last nine months.

“These organisations have been religiously deducting money from our members every month but they don’t pay,” said Mr Okwaro.

He was speaking in Nakuru Town on Saturday after he was re-elected general-secretary of the union for another five-year term.

The union official appealed to the Cabinet secretary in charge of Information and Communication Technology, Mr Joe Mucheru, to ensure that new boards of management and directors are reconstituted afresh.

“We have faith that the new ICT Cabinet secretary will throw his spanners in the two boards and make sure the new appointees will deliver on their mandate,” said Mr Okwaro.

The union boss said the top management of the two organisations have failed to adopt business plans that would generate money to enable them to remain stable in the increasingly competitive market.

“We are now telling the CEOs of the two state corporations [that] if they cannot put up a mechanism to generate funds we shall rise up as a union and remove them from their posh offices because we are capable of doing that,” said Mr Okwaro.

The official said the workers were no longer enjoying their medical benefits at various hospitals across the country as their employers owed the hospitals huge amounts in unpaid bills.

“We have signed a collective bargaining agreement yet our members are suffering. We shall not allow this to continue again,” said Mr Okwaro.

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