Socialist Worker

Kenya's government feels the heat from workers' strikes

by Benedict Wachira, secretary general, Social Democratic Party of Kenya (Socialist)
Issue No. 2362

A national strike by teachers in Kenya entered its 22nd day on Tuesday of this week. 

It has involved the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET).

But while KUPPET did a deal and ended its strike, KNUT is continuing its walkout.

KNUT is demanding the full implementation of a 1997 pay deal and an improved commuter allowance.

KNUT member Shadrack Mukoya said, “The government has been postponing our issue for too long now. We are ready to stay at home for however long it may take, until justice is done. 

“The government claims it doesn’t have money. Yet the send off package for the former president cost nearly £5 million!” 

KNUT refused a court ruling to negotiate with the government. But KUPPET agreed and eventually made a deal that most teachers have described as a “raw deal”.

Nurses and public sector workers have struck too, and strikes are putting the heat on the government. Socialists are arguing to link unions’ struggles to the general struggle. 

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