Court allows registration of domestic workers union

Sunday June 9 2019

Private security guards

Private security guards march past the dias during the Labour Day celebrations at Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground in Kisumu on May 1,2019. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The Registrar of Trade Unions has been directed to register the National Union of Domestic Workers.

Justice Matthews Nduma ruled that the new organisation should restrict its representation to domestic workers employed in private homes and not in commercial or public establishments whether designated as homes or otherwise. This will ensure that there is no interference with other unions working in the sector.

Members of the union led by Paul Khamasi and 13 others filed the case last year accusing the registrar of declining their application on grounds that the sector was already crowded with such unions.
Mr Khamasi told the court that they sent a letter for registration on April 9, 2018, but the request was declined.

In reply, Registrar E.N Gicheha stated that the sector was already represented by the Kenya Union of Domestic Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha Workers), which represents persons employed or engaged as subordinates in private homes, houses, flats, apartments, clubs, guest houses, children homes and other similar projects providing cleaning services, security and social services.

The Registrar further said the sector also had the Kenya National Unions of Service Employees (KNUSE), which represents workers employed in cleaning and janitorial services, management consultancies among other related services.

She also cited the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied workers (KCFAW), which represents employees engaged in property management.

She said the three unions were active in the domestic workers sector and that the proposed union would just crowd the field and serve very little purpose.