Kenya’s inflation rate has now moved to an all high of 10.1% from the previous 5.89% according to the latest figures by the Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU (K)’s Economic and Research Department released today and this being the highest ever in the history of our economy, COTU (K) calls upon all its forty four (44) affiliated Trade Unions to immediately notify their respective employers their intention to review the existing Collective Bargaining Agreements , CBAs and demand for a 22% wage increase in order to cushion their members against these harsh economic realities now facing workers and Kenyans as a whole.
Currently, the cost of living has been on the upward trend and the hardest hit are the workers who now demand that a general wage increase across all sectors of at least 22% will be able to cushion them against the massive losses faced in terms of their purchasing power as a result of the high inflation.
Apparently, in a few months to come and with no deliberate measures being brought up to mitigate the situation amid an economy that is under strain, overall purchasing power for Kenyans will continue dwindling and these are clear signs and indicators of a collapsing economy and the situation is even made worse with the current heightened political activities where now for the next five months the country will be experiencing nothing but politics at the expense of the economy.
Equally the current drought situation facing many parts of the country, the bad weather we are experiencing as well as wanting infrastructural situation including obstinate employers hell-bent on exploiting labour with poor labour inspection by the Ministry of East Africa Community and Labour and which all culminate into erosion of wage incomes and the only response should be to cushion workers with a wage increase.
Worse still, we are geared towards an economic collapse if the government continues with it current stand on huge domestic and international borrowing that has worsened the situation even further where the debt burden on the country is increasingly becoming unbearable; something that has never happened since our independence and our National Treasury should be alive to the fact that this is unprecedented and spells a gloomy future for our country.
COTU (K) calls upon all our affiliate Trade Unions to proceed and politely engage their respective employers without confrontation and review the existing CBAs with a view to adjusting workers wages so that to enable them to at least access their basic daily needs.
Francis Atwoli, NOM(DZA) EBS, MBS