Global road transport unions meeting in London today welcomed the peaceful return to work of Kenyan drivers and reinforced the call for union rights at Kuwait-based company Agility logistics.
Truckers involved in the dispute work on Kenya’s northern corridor, a key route for trucks carrying cargo within Kenya and into Uganda, Tanzania and other countries. Companies operating in this region are notorious for anti-union activity and many workers have been dismissed for seeking to join a union.
Dozens of drivers had stopped their trucks near the towns of Kanaan and Mai Mahiu, refusing to drive until their issues – extremely long working shifts, dismissals of union members and precarious contracts – were addressed. Over the course of last weekend, they were attacked, threatened and intimidated by police with guns.
The 32 union leaders from 25 countries who are gathered in London today welcomed the companies’ undertaking to pay the striking truckers and to ensure they suffer no repercussions. They also recognised the support offered by ITF affiliated unions internationally, including from Yemen, Jordan and Kuwait.
ITF road transport chair Tony Sheldon, of TWU Australia, commented:
“We’re glad that international solidarity had such a significant impact on Agility. We’re really pleased to see the truckers back at work and out of danger – they deserve the right to safe and decent work. We’re calling on Agility to keep listening, to live up to their motto of being a logistics leader, and start talking about conditions with the workers’ union of choice.”