Kenyan health workers face down mass sackings

Submitted by AWL on 13 March, 2012 - 2:09

The Kenyan government has sacked 25,000 health workers in a desperate attempt to break a mass strike over pay.

The government is asking unemployed and retired health workers to report to their nearest hospital or clinic to participate in interviews for the vacant posts.

The workers are on strike for higher pay; health workers in Kenya currently earn around 25,000 shillings (less than £200) per month, and are fighting for an increase that would double this amount.

Alex Orina, spokesman for the Kenya Health Professionals Society, said: "We are ignoring the sacking threat. These are cat-and-mouse games, you cannot sack an entire workforce. It is a ploy to get us to rush back to work, but our strike continues until our demands are met.”

The sacked workers include members of the Union of Kenyan Civil Servants, whose leaders brokered a deal with the government and ordered its members back to work. The nurses, however, refused and continued with their strike action.

Other public sector workers including teachers, university lecturers and workers at the state broadcasting service have also recently taken strike action. The health workers have now been on strike for over a week.

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