, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) has directed all its affiliated unions to write to employers to review workers’ pay due to what it terns as worsening economic times.
In a statement, Secretary General Francis Atwoli stated that the harsh economy has hit workers hard and they are now unable to afford essential commodities.
He indicated that the situation is getting worse with the news of an intended increase in taxation.
“Owing to the decision by the government to increase taxes on essential commodities in a bid to raise more revenue, 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 three million members to immediately write to their employers with the intend to review the existing Collective Bargaining Agreements,” he stated.
He called on the government to support workers and review all existing CBAs before their expiry so that the Kenyan workers can manage the increased cost of living and access their basic needs.
“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,”
“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,” he said.
He stated that the government should also not renege on its primary responsibility of protecting the vulnerable groups and lowly placed workers.
“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,” Atwoli stated.