Owing to the decision by the government to increase taxes on essential commodities in a bid to raise more revenue, the Kenyan workers are now bracing themselves for even harder times ahead and the Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU (K) as the umbrella workers’ body in the country has directed all it 42 affiliated trade unions representing over 3 million members to immediately write to their employers with the intend to review the existing Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA).
The current hard economic times have badly hit workers who are now unable to afford essential commodities like food stuffs, rent, transport to work, medical cover, fees for their children among others and whereas the coming to power of the Jubilee Administration brought with it promises of a brighter future for workers and for our economy, the situation is increasingly growing from bad to worse with news of stolen billions and a government determined to raid workers pockets further making headlines in our local media.
As workers, we are at pain to understand how as a country we find ourselves in this situation with the government that promised to improve the economy and never ever to dent an economy of which in Jubilee politicians’ words, the Kibaki regime was in the business of “economic panel beating”and now they were taking are to truly grow it to the benefit of all Kenyans and workers by reflecting a well-build and strong economy. This promise remains a far cry.
It is against this background that COTU (K) now calls upon the government to support workers and review all our existing CBAs before their expiry period so that the Kenyan workers can manage the increased cost of living and access their basic need.
Equally, this government should not renege on its primary responsibility of protecting the vulnerable groups and lowly placed workers as it reneged with the Kenyan teachers since any neglect from the government to address and improve the terms and conditions of teachers and the rest of workers in the country as well as its approach on our demands as COTU (K) shall definitely determine the outcome of the 2017 elections.