RE: - INDUSTRIAL COURT JUDGES ON STRIKE
Following the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) excessive interference with the operations of the legally and constitutionally constituted Industrial Court as well as the uncertainty that has since been created by the commission including advertising for the positions of the Judges of the Industrial Court, the five serving Judges are now on strike and have halted the operations of this important tripartite Court.
There have been deliberate moves by both the Judicial Service Commission and the Public Service Commission (PSC) to derail the operations of this important special Court as well as sending mixed signals to the Judges of the Industrial Court without due regard to the Provisions of The Industrial Court Act, 2011 Section 32 (2) that clearly states that the serving Judges will be deemed to have been appointed under this Act.
Further, the government has continued to humiliate these Judges who are themselves Presidential Appointees and gazetted by the Kenya Government hence perpetuating a worse situation in Kenya's industrial relation history prompting the current strike that has since witnessed all the social partners who are workers, employers and government through the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development now stuck with dispute settlement.
The move now puts industrial peace that this country has enjoyed over the years at risk and industrial unrest among workers is likely to escalate.
It is against this background that COTU (K) now appeals to His Excellency The President, Mwai Kibaki and The Chief Justice, Dr. Willy Mutunga to intervene with immediate effect bearing in mind that the Industrial Court is a special arbitration Court unlike ordinary Courts where you can send a Judge without labour and employment bias and expect results.
Francis Atwoli, MBS