Strikes affecting economy, Embrace dialogue - FKE says

In Summary

• The  trade unions should embrace dialogue during collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.

• Strikes do not attract any investment hence affecting the country’s economy.

Jacqueline Mugo,the CEO Federation of Kenya Employer, flanked by Nakuru Regional Branch Manager Abisai Ambenge(left) and Dr Thomas Serrem,the Regional President FKE Nakuru Branch address journalists during their 31st Annual General Meeting in Nakuru. The team said it would continue to engage the National and County Governments and ensure that the Big Four is well implemented.
FKE Jacqueline Mugo,the CEO Federation of Kenya Employer, flanked by Nakuru Regional Branch Manager Abisai Ambenge(left) and Dr Thomas Serrem,the Regional President FKE Nakuru Branch address journalists during their 31st Annual General Meeting in Nakuru. The team said it would continue to engage the National and County Governments and ensure that the Big Four is well implemented.
Image: BEN NDONGA

Employers' body, Federation of Kenya Employers, has urged trade unions to embrace dialogue during collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.

FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo said that strikes in various sectors do not attract investment or help in creating new jobs, instead they affect the economy negatively.

She said trade unions should come to the negotiating table with a spirit of dialogue, and give and take, as they negotiate for better terms for employees.

“The Federation is concerned about the tensions in the labour market over CBA negotiations including the slow pace in which Collective Bargaining Agreements in key sectors such as the tea sector are negotiated,” she said.

She also said tendency for parties to end up in court over CBAs is a serious drawback to productivity.

Mugo said Kenyan labour relations had come of age thus trade unions and employers have capacity to handle their issues.

“We are aware of the intention to take this matter to international courts. We do not support this move and consider it a negation of the spirit of negotiations. We encourage dialogue between employers and trade unions in resolving industrial disputes locally,” she said.

 FKE will endeavour to support fair and competitive wages where workers are compensated in a manner that is sustainable and enables enterprise sustainability and job creation.

 FKE continues to oppose the payment of 1.5 per cent of the basic pay of employees to the Housing Fund, as there was no public participation as provided for in Article 118 of the Kenya constitution.

“The Employment Act already tasks the employer to provide housing or house allowance to the employee which is tabulated at 15 per cent of the basic wage for each employee. This levy automatically increases that costs to 16.5 per cent of the basic wage without justification,” said Mugo.

“In the past year, FKE has faced a lot of challenges from the huge number of Bills proposed by our National Assembly and other platforms,” she said.

Established in 1959, the Federation is celebrating her 60th anniversary this year.

“The Diamond Jubilee is a golden opportunity to celebrate the Federations’ journey, reaffirm her position as the authoritative voice of employers in Kenya and globally and craft the future we want with and for our members,” she said.

Coast will hold their celebrations on April 17, Western April 24,  Mombasa May 23 while Nakuru celebrated theirs yesterday.