“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is imperative to understand and know your labour rights; this can be found from the Kituo Cha Sheria’s (Kituo) Publication titled the Kenyan Worker and the Law, an information booklet on labour law. The Employment Act, 2007 clearly stipulates the terms and condition of engagement between the Employer and employee sections 8,9 and 10 of the Act talks about the contract of service whether written or oral.
The encounter by Kituo’s paralegal officer, Mr Stanslaus Alusiola clearly shows how employers exploit their employees especially the poor and marginalized who may be ignorant of their rights. If it were not for Kituo’s Kibera Community Justice Centre the ignorant Lesayon Saigor who did not even know the name of his employer could have had nothing to smile about, his story should act as a bridge to fight against impunity and injustices encountered in the employment sector.
Lesayon Saigor was employed as a guard in Autodrome Services Limited in Westlands since October 2013. He remained diligent to his work oblivious of what awaits him. He encountered his mayhem on 5th of March, 2015 at around 11.00pm in the night when he was dismissed without any notice. The company had not paid him some of his dues for the service and sacrifice he had made to them. He was not very familiar with the steps to undertake to mitigate this situation. He pleaded with the company to pay him his dues but the company could hear none of his pleas. He sought to seek legal assistance from Kituo’s Kibera Community Justice Centre where he met the Coordinator, Mr. Stanslaus Alusiola on March 11, 2015. With the vast experience in Paralegalism, the Coordinator deemed the matter a gross violation of the employee’s right by the employer. He immediately resorted to taking action in ensuring justice is done. He decided to write to Saigor’s boss to seek clarification on the matter and assist his new client, Saigor. They never responded to the letter. Mr Alusiola therefore decided to visit the company with a demand letter citing legal aspects on the labour law to prove violation of Mr. Saigor’s labour rights. Kituo through its able advocates were ready to move to Court to file suit if the Demand did not bear fruit. However, the company manager accepted to settle the matter out of Court and agreed to pay Saigor all his dues with immediate effect.
Later on, the Community Justice Coordinator received a phone call from the Autodrome Services Limited Company claiming that they have to do some deductions of which the management did not explain. A matter that the Coordinator strongly refuted due to the fact that the guard was arrogantly dismissed at night endangering his life, was not given any notice and received not his final dues. He opted to pursue the matter and ensure justice is done.
Accepting defeat, the company through the manager, Mr. Alex Karanja pleaded to settle the matter without involving Court and accepted to pay all the dues without any deductions to the employee by 9th of April 2015.
Lesayon Saigor was all the smiles and thanked Kituo Cha Sheria and more so Kibera Community Justice Center Coordinator, Mr Stanslaus Alusiola for the relentless effort in ensuring he is accorded his dues.
“I am happy today, I can use this money to stabilize myself as I seek for a job elsewhere, thank you Kituo Cha Sheria,” he acclaimed!
Kituo Cha Sheria, We Care for Justice,
by Nandia Paul- RCD