Unilever Tea workers down tools to protest delay in salary increment

Thousands of tea workers at Unilever Tea Kenya Ltd have gone on strike to protest delay by the company to pay them 30 percent pay increment which was awarded by the court. The workers marched for about 10 kilometres from the tea estates to Kericho town where they were addressed by Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony and Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union Kericho Branch Secretary Dickson Sang.

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony said Unilever must implement the 30 percent pay increment as ordered by the court, adding that the tea workers have suffered for a long time. Chepkwony said he has received complaints about tea picking machines in the estates, which has disadvantaged tea pickers resulting to massive loss of jobs.

He said that he has held talks with Members of County Assembly and will soon explore ways of safeguarding thousands of jobs.

Kenya Plantation and Agriculture workers union branch secretary Dickson Sang also called on Unilever company to implement the pay increment immediately.

The strike comes barely two weeks after other workers from James Finlay and Williamson Tea downed they tools over pay.