Over 30 former employees of Amani Tiwi Beach Hotel in Ukunda Kwale County are demanding redress over alleged illegal summary termination of employment without dues by their employer.
Led by their Chair, Ali Mwamose, the laid off workers accused the employer of colluding with the Association of Hotel Keepers, to coerce them to join the Union that was not advancing their interests and instead fired them for choosing an alternative association not approved by the employer.
They appealed to the government to intervene in the matter to enable them get their outstanding dues for which some of the employees have died without getting the payment.
The retrenched workers say they have worked in the coastal hotel facility for a long time without formal engagement which contravened labour laws and their rights.
One of the employees, Dominic Obonyo, lost his two fingers while working at the hotel as a carpenter and was fired six months later without any form of compensation.
The sole breadwinner in the family now maimed and jobless, is struggling to fend for his family since he cannot perform any meaningful work after he lost his fingers while working at the Amani Hotel.
Obonyo said his children have dropped out of school since his disability has rendered him unproductive in getting a job to cater for their secondary education.
He said if paid his dues by the employer he will be able to use part of the money to educate his children and the balance to open an income generating activity to continue providing for his young family since he cannot be employed.
A similar predicament begot, John Kitai and Mama Rahel, now deceased and the employer has never paid them their dues.
Musa Mwashighadi, another employee was fired for challenging the employer over change of employment contracts.
Musa said the management of the hotel has since given the current employees contracts that will expire at the end of the April 2020.
The affected workers say they have been employees of the hotel for over 10 years on average as casuals, a situation they want the government to look into and protect the welfare of the hotel employees now and in the future.
“We want action taken and the Asian owner compelled to pay the retrenched workers dues including the families of our dead colleagues,” he pleaded.
The workers have given the employer seven days ultimatum to respond to their plea failure to which they will move to court to compel the employer to pay all the pending bills including those of their dead colleagues.
Evans Momanyi, the Secretary General, Capital Youth Caucus, coast region, called on the government and COTU Secretary General, Francis Atwoli, to address the plight of the workers at the Amani Beach Hotel in Ukunda.
The rights body Secretary General, said the Hotel has for a long time been reluctant and adamant about the plight of its workers and threatens everyone with sacking if they agitate on their rights.
He appealed to Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala and his Labour Counterpart, Simon Chelugui, to look into the cries of the welfare of the employees.
Comments from the hotel administration on the alleged complains was not forthcoming as our phones went unanswered.
By Joseph Kamolo