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Labour court stops strike by Meru clinical officers

Tuesday December 17 2019

Clinical officers

Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Meru Branch Secretary Moses Baiyenia addresses journalists over the ongoing strike. The Labour court in Nyeri on December 17, 2019 stopped the strike. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

CHARLES WANYORO
By CHARLES WANYORO
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The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nyeri has stopped the ongoing strike by clinical officers in Meru until a case filed by the county is heard and determined.

While giving the ruling, Justice Nzioki Wa Makau also ordered the clinical officers to immediately resume duty or be cited for contempt of court.

In an application filed by lawyer Ken Muriuki, the county government wants the court to bar the clinical officers from taking part in any strike or go-slow that could interrupt services.

FAILED TALKS

Meru County had last month started talks with the local branch of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers over allegations of poor management of the workforce following a deficit of 300 clinical officers.

The clinicians, led by Meru Branch Secretary-General Moses Baiyenia, also demanded promotion of officers who have served for long and the hiring of specialists.

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But the talks collapsed midway after the national office called a nationwide strike which has seen the Meru clinical officers down their tools.

CONCILIATION COMMITTEE

Mr Muriuki now wants the court to direct that a conciliation committee be appointed to continue with the stalled talks.

He also wants the union officials barred from “calling for any strike, industrial action, interruption or withdrawal of services in Meru County”.

In the ex-parte application, Mr Muriuki wanted the clinical officers’ strike declared illegal, unlawful and unprotected.

He also sought to have the clinical officers compelled to pay the costs of the suit.

Following the court’s decision, Mr Baiyenia said he would scrutinise the orders before reacting.

“We have not yet been served with the orders and thus I cannot comment,” he said on the phone.

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