Court Revokes KSh 115.7M Award to Former Kenya Railways Employee

Court Revokes KSh115.7M Award to Former Kenya Railways Employee (News Central TV)

More than 200 retired Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) employee will have to wait longer to receive a portion of the KSh115.7 million they were awarded last year after the appellate court temporarily halted the verdict that awarded them the money.

The Court of Appeal acknowledged that the amount being sought by the retired workers is substantial and that it may be challenging to collect it from them should the corporation’s appeal be successful.

Locomotive drivers were among the former employees who prevailed in the two-decade legal battle last year when the Employment and Labour Relations Court found that they had not received their full retirement benefits in 1998.

The sum includes leave allowance, pension, severance pay, gratuity arrears, and monthly salaries that have accrued since the date a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was registered.

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However, the corporation contends that the court lacked jurisdiction to decide pension-related issues. The KRC adds that the money originates from an unregistered CBA.

Justice Kathurima M’Inoti

According to Justices Kathurima M’Inoti, Fatuma Sichale, and Sankale ole Kantai, “The sum involved is a considerable quantity of money and we find in the circumstances that the applicant may not recover the same if the appeal successful.”

Through their attorney Chacha Odera, the KRC warned the company that its retired employees, who were dispersed across the nation and had no recognised source of income and others who had passed away, might prevent it from recovering the money. The money, according to the lawyer, has not been budgeted for.

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The 217 former employees, who are still in Nairobi, had also been ordered by Justice Maureen Onyango to keep their homes up till they receive complete payment last year.

Because Kenya Railways agreed to cover their housing expenses until their entire terminal benefits were paid, the judge ruled that the former employer is still liable.

In order to receive a final judgement on what is owed to them, the court ordered KR to compute their pay based on their most recent pay and submit a report in court within 30 days.

According to the terms of the 1997 contract, the sum should be calculated based on the bottom and top bracket employees’ respective pay increments of 70% and45%.

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A CBA signed in 1997 was the basis for the lawsuit filed by the former workers, who were led by George Ochieng Ododa, seeking their retirement benefits and terminal contributions.

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