Casual workers in Nakuru County are demanding salary arrears for six months.
At least 23 casual employees on contract have not received their salaries since January this year. They say this has made it hard for them to meet their daily needs.
Speaking on behalf of the employees, Mr Paul Murito said there has been no clear explanation on why they have not received the accumulated pay.
He added that it has been difficult for the employees to report to their places of work as they are financially strained.
“It has become extremely hard to afford a living without pay, yet our employer has remained silent about,” said Murito.
The casual labourers employed in 2015 by the County government clean different markets like Free Area, Bondeni, Top Market and Wakulima.
Mr Murito said despite not having received their pay, they report to work every day.
When the Nation visited the markets, there were heaps of uncollected garbage.
Beatrice Kimani, a small scale trader at Wakulima, said that for several days, waste within the market has not been collected, posing a health hazard.
“It is worrying to have waste cleaned but piled up within our trading environment. It can easily contaminate what we sell and also scare away buyers,” said the trader.
But the county employees maintain that they clean the market, adding that it is the role of the Department of Trade to collect it and dispose the garbage to the designated dumpsite.
“All employees report to their places of work but, unfortunately, those expected to collect the waste do not play their role,” maintained Mr Murito.
Another employee, Ms Ruth Njuguna, claimed that deductions meant for the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) are not remitted.
Ms Njuguna said in the past, the county has been deducting them Sh500 for ordinary NHIF cover, money that is not remitted to the fund.
A county official, who declined to be named, admitted that the employees have not received their pay.
He said evaluation is underway to ensure the employees are paid their accumulated salaries by next month.
He attributed delay in payment to lack of a clear policy between the Department of Trade and that of Environment, a matter that has since been resolved.
“The county will pay accumulated salaries by next month. It is unfortunate that delayed pay was due to departmental issues,” he said.
The official added that the department is engaging the NHIF to enable them receive quality services.
“Immediately we engage the NHIF management, we shall remit money that will guarantee quality healthcare for the employees,” he said.