The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) skipped today’s Labour Day celebrations in Nairobi, following disagreements with Central Trade Organisation Union (COTU) over increment of salaries to workers by 15 percent.
COTU had indicated that the wage increase would support the 1.5 percent housing levy proposed by the government, a move that would see Kenyans subscribe to the Affordable Housing Scheme under the Big 4 Agenda.
However, the proposal did not augur well with the employers, who issued a statement opposing the same.
FKE Chairman Mark Obuya said that it is not the government’s mandate to increase salaries of private entity employees.
Obuya noted that FKE has a pending case in court, accusing the government of failing to involve the employers body before coming up with the housing levy.
“General wage increases have a knock effect on the cost of doing business and the competitiveness of enterprises. Factors of wage determination such as productivity and ability of employers to pay must be taken into account. The proposal by COTU is therefore ill-advised,”stated FKE in a statement on Tuesday.
Speaking at the event, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary general Wilson Sossion, who is also a nominated MP slammed FKE for skipping the event.
“It is a shame that the Federation of Kenya Employers has skipped this event. If you start a war with Atwoli, you have declared war with poor Kenyans and all of us.The labour movement is meant to ensure good governance and transparency in any nation,” said Sossion.