Atwoli: Workers need more pay to cushion against economic shocks

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli. [File, Standard]

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions is urging President William Ruto to increase employee wage bills to help shield them from the high cost of living.

In their proposal submitted to the Dialogue Committee, Cotu highlights the escalating prices of essential goods such as housing, food, healthcare, and education, which have placed a heavy burden on families.

The organisation’s Secretary General Francis Atwoli said: “We propose that the President orders a general wage increase similar to the one implemented in 1972 by President Jomo Kenyatta.” “A general wage increase in Kenya is not only a matter of economic justice but also a practical step to enhance the well-being of the workforce.”

Cotu contends that such an increase will also help alleviate poverty and inequality, boost productivity, stimulate economic growth, and align with international labour standards.

Additionally, Cotu has suggested that the Executive should grant concessions to businesses operating within the Export Processing Zones to safeguard employment opportunities.

Regarding the two-third gender rule, the organisation proposes that Parliament develop legislation that encourages political parties to nominate women, particularly in their strongholds.

Cotu also supports the inclusion of funds like NG-CDF, NGAAF, and Senate Oversight Fund in the constitution to promote social justice and equitable development.

To enhance political stability, the workers’ union advocates for the introduction of provisions for the office of the Leader of the Opposition. 

The proposal further reads, “Cotu recognises the importance of entrenching the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary into law due to its critical role in ensuring effective service delivery and governance.”

Adding that, “We acknowledge the importance of governance structures that promote effective service delivery.”

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