The Central Organisation of Trade Unions, COTU (K) condemns and takes great exception to any efforts by employers and/or its agents to lobby the government against awarding the country’s lowest paid employees any Minimum Wage increase during this year’s International Labour Day Celebrations on 1st May,2017.
For the records, an increase in minimum wage during this year’s Labour Day Celebrations is non-bargainable since none other than H.E the President Uhuru Kenyatta asked workers to shelve their push for Minimum Wage increase last year promising instead to make it good and award the same this year by announcing a 20% Minimum Wage Increase in line with our expectations last year although this will be lower than our expectations this year since by then, inflation was below a double digit.
Indeed this year’s economic performance has been the worst since independence, hugely eroding workers purchasing power and adversely affecting those in the low income bracket.
Consequently, workers have lost their purchasing power and cannot access their basic needs, leave alone even the unprecedented scarcity in these basic needs being experienced today like food is now almost inaccessible, house rents have skyrocketed, cost of commuter transport has gone up amid a perpetual increase in oil and other petroleum products and it is only right that the Federation of Kenya Employers, FKE face this reality that dawns on their employees on a daily basis and stop these unwarranted tactics of lobbying government through its Executive Director Sis. Jacqueline Mugo.
Let employers have a human face even for a day and appreciate the pain and suffering these employees are going through because where is the logic of producing goods to a population that is unable to consume since they can’t afford to purchase?
It is only a sadist who can propose to President Uhuru Kenyatta who will be presiding over this year’s Labour Day Celebrations not to increase our Minimum Wage and any employer proposing the freezing of the Minimum Wage increase in Kenya must be investigated.
H.E The President Uhuru Kenyatta and by extension the Presidency is Law and the President cannot lie, he promised Kenyan workers last year when he appeared briefly at our Celebrations at Uhuru Park on 1st May, 2016 since he had other urgent state engagements that he will increase our Minimum Wage this year by 20% and although according to COTU (K) Economic and Research Department the fairest Wage increase was to be 22%, we humbly accept this President’s offer and this includes all those in public and private sectors.
However, majority of workers in the public sector have already benefited since the government has increased their salaries as from 1st July and therefore it is the prerogative express and non-negotiable authority of the government to protect and increase Wages for the vulnerable workers under the private-sector.
Francis Atwoli, NOM (DZA), EBS, MBS