Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

top
Capital News

Kenya

Workers fury as govt fails to increase minimum wage

President Uhuru Kenyatta in a speech read on his behalf by Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani said talks were still underway to determine whether there will be a wage increment or not.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 1- Kenyan workers are a disappointed lot after the government failed to increase their wages during this year’s Labour Day celebrations contrary to their expectations.

Those who spoke to Capital FM News said they felt hoodwinked while some termed the speeches made during the celebrations as an old talk with no substance.

A 15 percent wage increase had been widely expected to be increased a week to the celebrations and even settled in the minds of most workers.

“There was nothing to help us, just a lot of noise,” a visibly angry Meshack Auma said.

Another worker, who is also a city resident, Walter Masawa’s main concern was failure by those who addressed the gathering failure to address the pertinent issues raised over the proposed 1.5 percent housing levy.

“The overall expectation of nearly all Kenyan citizens was to hear from our leaders to at least make life easier for us. It is a very disappointing day for all of us. Unfortunately, that was not demonstrated in any way, both in speech and action,” Masawa said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in a speech read on his behalf by Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani said talks were still underway to determine whether there will be a wage increment or not.

He said the government will be making an announcement on the same in a weeks’ time after consulting all stakeholders—including the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) which were against calls for pay increase.

“The trade unions, employers and the government need to work together to make economy and labour market more inclusive. We are still in the process of negotiating between the employer and the employee on whether it is going to be a wage increase or not,” President Kenyatta said.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli was categorical that the union will only support the government’s housing initiative which requires all workers to pay a 1.5 percent levy, if there is a 15 percent wage increment.

This year’s Labour Day theme is “Eradicate Corruption to Create Employment.”

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), seven million Kenyans are not employed- some 1.4 million are desperately looking for a job, while the rest have since thrown in the towel.

Kenyans living below Sh200 a day is currently at 36.1 per cent according to KNBS.

Politicians who spoke at the event drew a link between graft and unemployment.

Amani National Leader Musalia Mudavadi and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka did not mince their words as they challenged the government to cut the talk and crack the whip.

Mudavadi said Kenyans want to see handcuffs, saying more time was unnecessarily being spent rooting for the handshake between President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, while massive of public resources were being looted.

“Enough of the handshake, we want to see handcuffs,” Mudavadi said amidst cheers.

He was referring to the March 2018 handshake between President Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, in which they agreed to work together while prioritising the war against corruption which both agree has slowed down development in the country.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

More on Capital News