(eTN) – The ongoing negotiations between Kenya Ferry Services’ management and the union representing the staff of the sole transport link between the island of Mombasa and the south coast, including the fancied resorts along the Diani Beach, appear to be going badly, according to a usually well-informed source from Mombasa.
There has been no narrowing of the gap since talks started between demands and the management’s offer, raising the prospect of a full-fledged strike as of tomorrow, Friday, October 12.
Should it come to this, traffic from and to the airport would be cut off, stranding tourists going from the airport to the south coast resorts and vice versa, while residents from both Mombasa as well as the Likoni side of the channel dividing the island from the mainland would be marooned on either side.
Notably not a word has been heard from the Ministry of Tourism, and the Assistant Minister for Transport, Hassan Ali Joho, from the coast himself, appears not to be answering his phone as more and more desperate individuals are trying to have him get involved and mediate.
Tourism stakeholders are now keenly anticipating their leadership to stand up and be counted and even make an appearance at the Reef Hotel where the talks are ongoing, to plead with the union not to throw yet another spanner into the works of tourism. Any prolonged strike could seriously damage the reputation of
Kenya’s tourism industry and in a worst case scenario lead to lay-offs of staff on the south coast.