(Xinhua) -- A Kenyan court on Tuesday ordered
the arrest of doctors’ union officials amid a medics
strike over pay rise that has lasted for almost 40 days.
Justice Hellen Wasilwa of the
Employment and Labour Relations Court directed a Nairobi
police station to enforce the arrest warrants.
Wasilwa said the union officials had
not appeared in court after being summoned, which she
said were considerable grounds for contempt.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners,
Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials were
due to appear in court Tuesday for defying a court order
barring them from going on strike.
The government last week offered to
increase the salary for the lowest paid doctors by over
550 U.S. dollars from 1,400 dollars per month, an offer
that was rejected by the doctors.
The doctors are demanding a
300-percent salary increase in line with a collective
bargaining agreement signed in 2013.
They say the lowest-paid doctor should
earn 3,450 dollars per month while the highest 9,450
The government has threatened to
dismiss doctors who fail to resume duties by Wednesday.
However, the striking doctors have
dared the governments to make good their threat to sack
them on Wednesday, vowing to resume work only after the
implementation of the collective bargaining agreement .
KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Oluga,
who were among those summoned by court, termed the
issuance of the warrant intimidation, calling all
members to stay put.
The standoff between the doctors in
the public hospitals and the government has pushed
thousands of low-income patients to flock ill-equipped
clinics as they can not afford high-cost private
Council of governors threatens
to sack striking doctors
Striking Kenyan doctors reject
40 percent pay rise offer