•The workers at the Nandi County-based EPK firms have secured an eight per cent backdated general wage increase for the year 2022.
•They will also enjoy a seven per cent increase for the current year 2023, following the adoption of a new CBA effective April 19.
More than 6,000 unionisable workers at tea-growing firms associated with Eastern Produce Kenya (EPK) are set to enjoy an enhanced pay package.
This is after the sealing of an updated Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU).
The workers at the Nandi County-based EPK firms have secured an eight per cent backdated general wage increase for the year 2022.
They will also enjoy a seven per cent increase for the current year 2023, following the adoption of a new CBA effective April 19.
The signing of the new CBA was preceded by intensive negotiations between EPK and KPAWU officials led by general secretary Francis Atwoli and deputy general secretary Thomas Kipkemboi.
EPK director Leah Kibii Chirchir and human resource and administration manager Fancy Mosore led the negotiations on behalf of the firm.
Speaking when she confirmed the sealing of the new CBA, EPK client operations director Leah Chirchir said that despite the economic challenges facing agricultural firms, the company would continue to prioritise its employees’ welfare.
While extending the firm’s appreciation to the KPAWU officials for maintaining a win-win negotiation approach, Chirchir affirmed EPKs commitment to maintaining superior employee welfare and robust labour relations.
“At EPK, we are committed to maintaining a shared prosperity model that prioritises our employees’ welfare. We continue to celebrate our unionisable employees for putting in the hard work required to deliver world-class teas to the market," she said.
She said the firm's business ventures’ operating and profit margins have however fallen due to the global economic climate.
"Still, we are committed to continue securing EPK’s position as an employer of choice,” said Chirchir.
EPK provides extension services to 7,500 smallholders by taking in their green leaf to process into quality black tea.
Over the years, EPK and KPAWU have maintained continuous industrial relations capacity-building programmes to boost compliance with global labour standards, including training shop stewards.