Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has assured workers in the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) in the county that their working conditions will improve if they vote for Nasa leaders in the August 8 polls.
Speaking at Kikambala in Kilifi on Sunday after meeting more than 500 workers from different EPZ companies in the county, the governor said the current tough economic times have been caused by the Jubilee administration.
“The Jubilee government has made the lives of Kenyans, including you, unbearable. They took huge loans which will be repaid by you, your children and your grandchildren. It is a burden for this country,” the governor said.
The casual employees from Kikambala told the governor about poor working conditions at the EPZ firms.
“We are working under intolerable conditions in the factories. We work late into the night despite poor pay,” they said.
“Labour laws are not followed at all. We endure a lot of frustrations from our employers. Some of us have worked for 10 years as casuals,” said a representative of the workers.
The governor said if Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga forms the next government, all the labour laws infringing on the rights of the works in the EPZ will be scrapped and new regulations to protect them put in place.
“The same challenges you are facing as EPZ workers in Kilifi are similar to [those in] other areas like Athi-River but the Jubilee government pays little attention to it,” Mr Kingi said.
He also blamed his rival in the August 8 governorship race, Kazungu Kambi of Kadu Asili, of having failed to address the challenges of workers when he served as Labour Cabinet Secretary in the Jubilee administration.
“Everyone knows how Mr Kambi handled the plight of workers in the EPZ sector when he was the CS in charge of the labour ministry.
“When workers in this country asked for wage increase, he was fond of saying he couldn’t add [them] even a shilling,” he said.
The governor was accompanied by senator Stewart Madzayo, ODM Woman representative candidate Getrude Mbeyu, ODM MCA candidate for Shimo La Tewa Sammy Ndago and Mtepeni MCA candidate Victor Mwaganda.