NOT STATE'S CALL

FKE opposes wage increment ahead of Labour Day

Exempt themselves from any of Cotu's agreement with state on Housing Levy

In Summary

• FKE management board says Labour Day should not be turned into an avenue of increasing wages.

• Says random increments of the statutory minimum wage leads to conflict between employer and employees. 

Federation of Kenya Employers management board in Nairobi on April 30
'DON'T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LABOUR DAY': Federation of Kenya Employers management board in Nairobi on April 30
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

Kenyan employers say they will oppose any call during Labour Day celebrations to raise the general minimum wage.  

The federation has further condemned reports that Cotu is requesting the government to increase the wage by 15 per cent in exchange for their support for the proposed Housing Levy.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday, the FKE management board said Labour Day should not be turned into an avenue of increasing wages.

The national president Mark Obuya said the government has no mandate to increase the general wage bill.

"The government cannot increase the general wages except for the public servants," Obuya said.

The association further stated that matters to do with wage increment are governed by voluntary negotiations between the parties in the case of workers who belong to a union. 

They said the general wage increases have a knock on effect on cost of doing business and the competitiveness of enterprises.

They said factors of wage determination such as the productivity and the ability of employers to pay must be taken into account.

"The statutory minimum wages are determined through structures such as Wages Council and the National Labour Board which have been put in place to offer advice on wage setting mechanisms," the federation president said.

Obuya said these bodies have never met to discuss and offer advice in this regard.

"Random increments of the statutory minimum wages only leads to conflicts between the employer and employees, as those increments are done without regard to the ability and preparedness of employers to pay," he added.

He said they won't be party to any agreement made between the Central Organisation and Trade Union and the government on the implementation of the Housing Fund Levy. 

They called upon parties involved to embrace dialogue in order to cushion the country's economy from unnecessary shocks.

Cotu Secretary general Francis Atwoli in a past event earlier had said he was advocating for the minimum wage to be increased by 25 per cent because of the high cost of living.

He attributed this to massive corruption and a growing domestic debt.

 

(Edited by R.Wamochie)