Editorials

EDITORIAL: Wage talks the way to go

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The Labour Ministry should be commended for choosing talks with employers and unions before announcing its position on the minimum wage increment, rather than imposing its will on employers. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Labour Ministry should be commended for choosing talks with employers and unions before announcing its position on the minimum wage increment, rather than imposing its will on employers.
  • It has almost become a norm that days before the May Day celebrations, the Kenyan trade unions must engage in a war of words with employers as they bargain for minimum wage raise.

The Labour Ministry should be commended for choosing talks with employers and unions before announcing its position on the minimum wage increment, rather than imposing its will on employers.

It has almost become a norm that days before the May Day celebrations, the Kenyan trade unions must engage in a war of words with employers as they bargain for minimum wage raise.

Employers have consistently described wage increase proposals made by Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) as outrageous and costly. Cotu has accused employers of being insensitive.

Ideally, the employer-employee or management-union relationship is always adversarial.

A happy workforce translates to improved bottom lines, making a case for firms to keep their workers happy and energised.

Therefore, the move by the State in giving negotiations a chance through the Wages Councils is likely to lead to more lasting outcomes and a better deal for both parties.

The council of employers and unions is the best forum to close ranks on the contentious matter of minimum wage away from public pressure.

While wages review help workers to maintain purchasing power, they should up their productivity to make a case for a rise in wages without hurting business performance.