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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 21 September 2014

TEETHING PROBLEMS AFTER BODIES MERGE

The recent merger of agricultural research institutes of maize, sugarcane, tea and coffee into one parastatal now known as Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation  is likely to affect the operations of trade unions representing the workers interest.
The Union of National Research Institutes of Kenya secretary general Zachary Achach now says that the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Act, 2013 gives the union with the majority representation to be recognised by Kalro and to be recognised as the workers’ representatives.
Unrisk enjoys majority support as it has recognition with five out of the eight parastatals. Unrisk represents staff of Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, zKenya Trypanomiasis Research Institute, Kenya Forestry Research Institute and Kenya Sugar Research Foundation. The Kenya Union of Commercial, Food and Allied Workers Union represent Coffee Research Foundation while the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers union represents Tea Research Foundation of Kenya.
Unrisk is known to have been fighting for the rights of staff in the research institutes from salary increment to transport and house allowances as well as pushing for better terms of employment. It is against this background that Unrisk has received overwhelming support to continue representing the interest of the workers through Kalro.
Already, Agriculture cabinet secretary Felix Kosgey has appointed Eliud Kireger formerly of Moi University as the research coordinator of the new outfit.