• In a judgment delivered by Employment and Labour Relations Court Justice James Rika on Tuesday, August 22, the court noted that John Katana, alongside three other appellants, had a right to participate in the forming of a trade union under section four of the Labour Relations Act
• Kenya Musicians Union will be different and will also run independently from the popular Kenya Union of Entertainment and Music Industry Employees
Kenyan creatives have every reason to be jolly after the court allowed the formation of a Musicians’ Trade Union to represent the interests to at least 200 musicians in the country.
This comes hot on the heels of a heated court battle between Them Mushrooms leader, John Katana and the Kenyan Registrar of Trade Unions.
YEIYO.com has learnt John Katana recently won the court case and was given a go-ahead to establish a trade union to represent 200 Kenyan musicians/creatives and their interests.
Following the major Court ruling in favour of Kenyan creatives, John Katana’s umbrella body dubbed Kenya Musicians Union will now have the mandate to fight and represent the interests of members registered to the body which consists of artistic creators, especifically freelancers working with and for different producers and labels for specific projects.
This means Kenya Musicians Union will be different and will also run independently from the popular Kenya Union of Entertainment and Music Industry Employees.
It should be noted the Kenya Union of Entertainment and Music Industry Employees prides itself in a wider membership which range from comedians, deejays, waiters, bouncers and chefs.
YEIYO.com has learnt the existing union had earlier objected the registration of the Kenya Musicians Union which is led by John Katana.
However, in a judgment delivered by Employment and Labour Relations Court Justice James Rika on Tuesday, August 22, the court noted that John Katana, alongside three other appellants, had a right to participate in the forming of a trade union under section four of the Labour Relations Act.
“The appellants have satisfied the court that they are a specific industry player, with an identifiable community of interests, not shared by any other trade union. They merit to have a trade union of their own, to safeguard their rights, and advance their employment and artistic interests,” Justice Rika said.
“They need a trade union of their own to collectively bargain on their behalf, and register a CBA, a labour instrument they have not had in their music careers. There is no impediment in law or fact, to deny them registration.” he added.
The judge further ordered the registrar of trade unions to issue the John Katana-led team with a certificate of registration and enter the union’s name in the appropriate register within seven days.
The latest development comes as a result of an appeal filed by John Katana and three others after the registrar had declined their initial registration application following objections raised by the entertainment employees’ body.
Kenya Union of Entertainment and Music Industry Employees had earlier argued in court that it sufficiently represents a substantial proportion of the musicians’ interests, therefore there was no need for yet another union.
Even with everything that happened and the current turn of events, news of the court case win for Kenya Musicians Union was received well by countless Kenyan creatives who held that such moves gives hope for the growth and development of the general and wider Kenya entertainment industry.