As the World marks Labour Day today, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected at Uhuru Park to weigh in on the minimum wage which Central Organisations of Trade Unions (COTU-K) says only covers workers who are not unionisable.
At the heart of today’s push for better pay is non-compliance with the minimum pay whose review has become an annual ritual that only appears on paper and often ignored by employers.
Workers’ trade unions will be making a case for the improved pay for their members who are unlikely to comprehend why the minimal previous pay increments are not translating to more prosperity.
While salaries have risen by 89 per cent, on average since 2009, the cost of living has marched ahead at 97 per cent to demonstrate the impact of declining actual remuneration despite some nominal increments.
Worst affected are the estimated 2 million employed in the private sector where pay has stagnated as the profit-driven employers struggled to remain afloat.
Hardest hit are the low to lower middle income earners whose purchasing power has been eroded the fastest, partly because most of their household budgets are spent on commodities with volatile prices including food.
The disparity between pay and cost of living is more prominent as you go lower on the incomes scale.