CS roots for better remuneration for workers at EPZ

Government is working with stakeholders at Export Processing Zone (EPZ) and urged union officials to review salaries for Kenyans working at such processing Zones, Labour Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani said on Monday.

He hinted that possibilities of delinking the EPZ employees with other workers in other industries in the country were at an advanced stage, adding that the EPZ purely produced Export goods.

Ukur was speaking during his tour of the United Aryan Company, a garment factory in the Baba Dogo Export Processing Zone in Nairobi.

As we handle the issue of the workers’ salaries we need to consider cost of production as well as expansion and growth of the industry, said the Labour CS.

He further said that his Ministry was in the process of reviewing labour policies and laws to align to the constitution and emerging issues in labour industry.

Some of the issues that need to be addressed is to reduce the number of labour unions to possibly seven, saying that too many trade union are not very healthy to the country, he said.

Minimizing the number of trade unions will help to address recurrent labour disputes being experienced in the country.

The CS lamented that the increasing labour strikes were affecting production and economic growth of the country, and advised that labour disputes should be solved amicably.

We are working on ways to reduce labour conflicts for economic gains and we also promote alternative labour conflict resolutions, Ukur said, adding promotion of industrial peace is vital since labour is the main enabler for achievement of the Government’s big 4 agenda.

There are 10,000 Kenyans workers at united Aryan Company, a garment factory in the Baba Dogo Export Processing Zone in Nairobi. The workers support a total of over 200,000 members of their families.

Kenyans working in EPZs earn an average of Sh.14, 319 a month compared to their expatriates counterparts who walk away with about Sh.103, 157 per month.

This pay disparity exists despite the fact that these special zones employed 52,474 locals compared to 604 expats last year, the Export Promotion Zones Authority 2016 report shows.

Source: Kenya News Agency