May 20, 2018

Uhuru’s gift to workers sparks debate

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced 5 percent minimum wage increase during this year’s Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Tuesday (1/5/18).

Uhuru’s announcement was, however, not received well by a section of Kenyans who expressed their disappointment terming the increase as insignificant.

Reactions on Twitter
“5%??? Seriously! The lowest wage increase ever since Independence,” Thomas said.

“The 5% is not even enough to buy breakfast for two days, it will only bring up tax to Government from workers, is equal to tax burden to workers,” posted Samuel.

“My friend imgn 5% of now minimum wage is 743. What is 700 shillings? insults,” said Cedric.

The increment was announced by Cabinet Secretary in charge of Labour and Social Protection, Ukur Yattani, who read President Uhuru’s speech.

“In recognition of the good work done by our workers and cognizant of the 4.8 per cent rate of inflation this year, I hereby declare a corresponding 5 percent increase of minimum wage,” Yattani announced.

Yattani, however, noted significant losses in manpower hours numbering to 100 million owing to numerous work boycotts in 2017.

He urged stakeholders in to adopt a more consultative approach to avoid similar occurrences going forward.

“As a result of various strikes that took place during the past one year, the country recorded a loss of 100 million man-hours which is a matter of grave concern for a developing nation like ours,” he stated.

Yattani added the Government was committed to attaining sustainable economic growth that would guarantee job security.

“I urge all tripartite partners in labour administration to take the lead in achieving a structured dialogue. By so doing we shall be acting in the context of this year’s labour the: Let’s reason together for sustainable economic growth and job security,” he urged.

The increment means that basic minimum monthly wages, exclusive of housing allowances, will rise from between Sh320 and Sh1,458 for those living in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu counties.

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