Hundreds of Kenyan workers down tools over safety standards accusing Chinese construction company of exposing them to diseases

A senior manager in the company admitted that the workers had gone on strike.

  • Over 200 workers from sections DK86 and DK87 in Satellite Mai Mahiu have downed their tools over lack of protective gear.
  • In the last couple of months, the railway line has been hit with a number of go slows.

The over 200 workers from sections DK86 and DK87 in Satellite Mai Mahiu have downed their tools over lack of gumboots and waterproof jackets necessary while working over a flooded area along SGR line caused by heavy rains that have been pounding the area.

According to one of the workers who declined to be named for fear sacking, the Chinese Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has failed to provide them with the gumboots exposing them to foot diseases.

“All we are asking for from the contractor are gumboots and protective jackets so that we can access the flooded sections along the railway line,” a local media quoted the worker saying.

The worker further added that work was slow as a result of recent flashfloods recorded in Mai Mahiu and its environs.

“We have been forced to at times call off the works whenever it’s raining as this area is prone to floods which have in the past swept off even cars,” he said.

A senior manager in the company admitted that the workers had gone on strike demanding the protective gear an issue that was being addressed.

“A group of workers in one of the area that is prone to flooding are demanding gumboots and protective jackets due to the rains and we are addressing this,” said the manager.

In a statement released by the company’s spokesperson Steve Zao, all workers were issued with protective gear once they were employed.In the last couple of months, the railway line has been hit with a number of go slows with workers demanding better wages and improved working conditions.

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