JOINT COMMUNIQUE ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF WORKING RELATIONS BETWEEN CENTRAL ORGANISATION OF TRADE UNIONS (KENYA) AFFILIATES AND INFORMAL WORKER ASSOCIATIONS
29TH OCTOBER 2019
For along time, the trade union movement in Kenya has been organizing workers in the formal sector. However with shrinking unemployment in the formal sector and the increase in employment opportunities in the informal economy, the labour movement shifted its focus to the informal workers, who have been marginalized for many years.
In May 2018, three COTU(K) affiliates; Kenya Union of Dosmectic Hotels Education Institutions Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA),Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers (AUKMW) and Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied workers( KUCFAW), with support from the Solidarity Center (AFL-CIO), commisioned a baseline survey on the informal workers within Nairobi sub counties.The study established and found out that over 80% of workers in Nairobi County are in the informal sector operating as Street and market vendors,cleaners,metal workers and motor vehicle repairers.
It is on this basis that the three COTU(K) affiliates with the support from Solidarity Center (AFL-CIO), embarked on a project to organize informal workers in Nairobi. Today marks the beginning and success of this long journey.The COTU(K) Affiliates have managed to organise 5,600 informal workers and finally signed Memorandum of Understanding ((MOU) with their respective informal associations. This will guarantee informal workers of their rights to labor and social protection.
It is also pursuant to this that we strongly urge the national Assembly to pass the Street Vendors (Protection of livelihood) Bill, 2019, which will go a long way into addressing challenges in the sector. In this spirit the three COTU(K) affiliates in partnership with informal sector associations endeavor to champion, advocate,lobby and address challenges affecting informal workers for we are UNITED; WITH ONE GOAL and ONE VOICE.