Coral blocks quarrying in Kilifi has been halted indefinitely following a standoff between loaders and quarry owners. The problem started last week when the loaders demanded a wage increase from one shilling for every block they load to two shillings. But quarry owners refused to increase their pay.
Kilifi Quarry Owners Association chairman Caesar Waganagwa said quarry owners are losing Sh10 million to Sh12 million daily due to the standoff.
He cited political interference. Last Friday, one truck driver died when he was run over by his truck when protesting loaders dragged him from the driver’s seat in a quarry in Magorani.
“We have 300 legitimate loaders… Last week some loaders went to every quarry to influence the legitimate loaders to seek a Sh1 increment. This is unacceptable and as an association we cannot do that,” Waganagwa said.
Kaloleni deputy county commissioner Fredrick Ndunga said those involved in the fracas will be arrested. Loaders asked for a pay hike after the market price of a block was increased from Sh25 to Sh27.