Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA), Mombasa chapter has lashed out at the national government for failing to implement private sector policies.
Addressing the media in Mombasa, Mombasa branch Secretary-General Zacheaus Osore said despite having dozens of policies on the rights of the private sector, the sector still faces a myriad of challenges.
He cites unpaid leave, low wages and casual employment as some of the challenges facing the sector.
“Yes the policies exist, but the problem is the implementation of these policies. We shall address this issue of salaries and wages to the later,” said Osore.
The SG noted that private-sector workers are among the employees worst hit by the coronavirus.
He further asked the government to focus on the private sector by implementing all policy frameworks.
“The government has failed. Payment for private-sector employees is still low, the curfew also remains a challenge,” he said.
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Meanwhile, KUDHEIHA chairperson Khamisi Juma said the newly elected board will streamline wages and salaries for members in the union.
He adds that the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) should be in tandem with the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
“We do not want a rubber stamp leadership. We shall restructure the leadership of the union,” he said.
At the same, Mombasa branch KUDHEIHA Deputy Secretary Judith Odera urged women to champion for their rights by vying for leadership in organisations and unions.
She says implementing the two-thirds gender rule will empower and motivate women aspiring leadership positions.
“Women should be given priority. Our girls should not only be empowered with knowledge but also allowed to lead,” she said.
She, however, cites lack of resources as a blow to women aspiring for leadership positions in organisations, unions and the political arena.
Ms Odira further wants the union to do away with the grading system currently in use in the hotel industry saying it infringes on the rights of employees.
“The hotel industry should not use the grading system to its workers. To me, it does not make sense. Why bring about the issue of permanent employees on a permanent contract?” Ms Odira said.
She says dozens of employees in the hotel industry have been rendered jobless after coronavirus hit the country.
At the same time, an official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the union will seek partnership with the county government to address some of the challenges facing the sector.
He adds that enforcing labour laws in the organisation is the only way to ensure transparency and accountability in the union.
“We shall ensure that we push private-sector workers to join unions. Some of the employers dismiss their employees for no apparent reason,” said the official.
The branch conducted its elections Wednesday with Zacheaus Osore retaining his position as branch secretary.
The elections were presided over by Mombasa County Labour Officer Jeremiah Katana.