Kenya tourism: Last ditch effort to avoid ferry strike

While one more meeting between the Kenya government, the ferry company management, and the union is due to be held later today in a last ditch effort to avoid a fully-blown strike, ferry users yesterd

Kenya tourism: Last ditch effort to avoid ferry strike

While one more meeting between the Kenya government, the ferry company management, and the union is due to be held later today in a last ditch effort to avoid a fully-blown strike, ferry users yesterday again experienced long delays in the morning. This triggered prompt suggestions that workers may have taken matters into their own hands again, seeing that their demands are not being met and trying to sneak in some slow-go action.

Ferry staff had in the past staged several go slow action and wild cat strikes when frustrated over the slow progress of talks between the company and their union representatives. The union had given a formal strike notice on 13th of June, which has now expired, legally allowing for a strike but sources from Mombasa speak of a suddenly keener interest by government officials who had previously shown little inclination to get involved. The Kenya Ferry Services Limited is a state owned company connecting the island of Mombasa with the southern mainland, the only way right now to reach the beaches along Diani and beyond and proceed on to the border with Tanzania at Lunga Lunga. A road link from the main Nairobi to Mombasa highway via the town of Kwale does exist but is in bad shape and the long promised bypass highway has yet to see construction commence.

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South coast tourism stakeholders, with the transit route through Mombasa under formal anti travel advisory notice by Britain, have in fact for decades advocated for an alternative road access, for which a tender process for the construction contract is now underway.

Events over the past year have only strengthened stakeholder demands that the new road is an absolute priority infrastructure project for them, as it is also for the coast business community For many of the traders is the ferry also a constant thorn in their side, from the regular delays to the high the cost of crossing the Likoni channel. Other long pending infrastructure projects the coast has been waiting for is a second bridge from the island to the northern mainland and an international convention centre which could draw major meetings to the city of Mombasa and benefit the resorts along the beaches of Nyali, Bamburi and Shanzu.

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