The Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA), a Kenyan government agency overseeing the security industry, has ordered a temporary halt in deductions and remittances of union dues from private security officers' salaries.

This directive, effective immediately, applies to all private security companies in the country.

The move comes amidst concerns raised by numerous security officers regarding the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU-Kenya)'s effectiveness in representing their interests.

PSRA, mandated by law to protect the welfare of security guards, launched an investigation into the collection and use of union dues remitted to COTU.

For years, private security firms have consistently deducted union dues from their employees' salaries and forwarded them to COTU.

As per COTU's core mandate, the organization is expected to advocate for workers' rights, including social welfare and fair wages.

Security guards, a significant portion of COTU's membership, have faithfully contributed union dues despite their often low salaries.

However, the PSRA has received numerous complaints alleging COTU's failure to fulfil its obligations.

The Authority cites instances where COTU has allegedly disregarded, declined, or neglected to advocate for security guards' rights, including minimum wage compliance and overall well-being.

Section 10(b) of the Act empowers the PSRA to conduct investigations pertaining to its regulatory function.

In response to the complaints and aiming to safeguard the welfare of over 1.3 million security guards, the Authority has launched an investigation into the collection and usage of all union dues remitted to COTU.

Preliminary findings suggest substantial financial contributions by security guards, amounting to billions of shillings in total.

Suspension of Union Dues Until Investigation Concludes

Therefore, to ensure the protection of security guards' rights while the investigation progresses, the PSRA has issued a directive to all private security firms.

Effective immediately, these companies must cease deducting and remitting union dues to COTU.

"THEREFORE, pending conclusion of the investigation, ALL private security companies are hereby directed to EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY STOP deducting and remitting private security officers' trade union fees to the Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU- Kenya," PSRA stated.

This directive remains in place until the investigation concludes and the Authority issues further instructions.

Non-Compliance Consequences

The PSRA has warned that any private security firm disregarding this directive and continuing to deduct and remit union dues will face a statutory review of their registration and licensing status as per Section 32 of the Act.

"TAKE NOTICE: any private security company that continues to deduct and remit the said fees to the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), SHALL be subjected to a statutory review of its registration and licensing status in accordance with Section 32 of the Act," the authority warned.

This move underscores the commitment of the Authority to safeguard the rights and welfare of over 1.3 million private security guards operating across Kenya.

It reflects a proactive stance in addressing concerns within the private security industry and ensuring accountability in the management of trade union contributions.

As the investigation progresses, stakeholders await further developments, anticipating measures aimed at enhancing the representation and welfare of private security officers in Kenya.