COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli addressing a press conference
The Central Organisation of Trade Unions, COTU (K) condemns efforts by employers and/or its agents to lobby 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.
“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,” read part of COTU statement to newsrooms.
COTU says 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”.
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.