Thursday, October 11, 2012

Community members raise concerns over job opportunities

By Joshua Kisemei

Yellow House Company has decided to reshuffle its workforce in order to increase participation of group ranch members in the implementation of the Small Scale Horticultural Project that intends to rehabilitate the irrigation system in Nguruman.This is after the community raised an alarm over job opportunities for their members.

In a meeting held on the 10th of October 2012, community members complained that most of the people working in the project’s casual section have been outsourced by plumbers and sub-contractors from other areas.

"Sometimes we give the plumbers a list of people to employ but they still bring in more people from outside the group ranch" said a member of Nguruman Irrigation Water Users Association’s (IWUA)committee.
Masons working on a weir protecting the irrigation water intake.
(Photo: Kelvin Koinet)
The committee which is charged with the responsibility of overseeing implementation of the project on behalf of the farmers decided to review the list of workers and give priority to members of the group ranch.

The IWUA chairman assured employees who are members of the group ranch that their jobs were secure. "Members of Olkiramatian group ranch don’t have a problem, your jobs are secure. However if you have indiscipline cases like incitement and theft you will be penalized." The committee also developed a list of 24 members who will be trained as plumbers. Among the 24, the best 12 will be selected to take over repair and maintenance when the project is handed to the Nguruman IWUA committee.

Other issues discussed in the meeting included theft of company tools which has grown rampant. That same morning a group of employees were caught stealing equipments from the site among them, spades and other tools.

"I saw them carrying bags and asked to inspect them. When they finally agreed to spill out the contents, I was surprised," said Joseph, one of the site guards.

The workers brought the issue of late payment of their wages to the meeting. It was agreed that instead of paying fortnightly the company should give wages monthly. This came after a recent controversy sparked by late and incomplete payments which led to a workers strike that prompted the company to pay all workers from 8th-10th October.

"Some of us have missing days. I have five days that I registered and I have not been paid for," said one employee.

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