North Rift Unions Sound Alarm: Worker Rights Violations Rampant During Festive Season


“A majority of employers are shamelessly overworking their employees without paying them overtime,” declared Ombati,

Caption: Union Leaders Peter Odima (COTU) and Rodgers Ombati (KUCFAW) Illuminate Disturbing Labor Abuses Amidst the Festive Rush.

In a scathing rebuke of employers’ exploitative practices, the Kenya Union of Commercial, Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW) and the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) North Rift Region have joined forces to condemn the surge in worker rights violations across the region.

Addressing the media today, union leaders Rodgers Ombati of KUCFAW and Peter Odima of COTU painted a grim picture of rampant abuses, particularly during the busy festive season.

Overworked and Underpaid:

“A majority of employers are shamelessly overworking their employees without paying them overtime,” declared Ombati, citing numerous cases of flagrant disregard for labor laws. “This festive season, instead of enjoying time with loved ones, hardworking Kenyans are being exploited for profit.”

Unjustified Dismissals and Unfair Practices:

The union representatives highlighted a multitude of concerns, including “unprecedented sackings without due process,” discriminatory practices, and rampant sexual harassment. Ombati emphasized the existence of established legal procedures for termination, calling for their strict adherence.

Demanding Respect for Basic Rights:

“Article 41 of the Constitution guarantees the right to join unions,” reminded Odima, urging workers to report any injustices they face. He further condemned the widespread irregularities within security firms, many of which operate without proper registration and pay as little as Ksh. 5,000-6,000, well below the legal minimum.

Legal Action and Calls for Accountability:

“Employers who exploit their workers will face the full weight of the law,” warned Odima, announcing legal action against violators. He singled out Nandi County as a hotspot for labor law infractions, demanding swift intervention from authorities.

Gender Inequality and Harsh Working Conditions:

Ombati shed light on the plight of male workers, who often endure “brutal working conditions and meager wages.” He emphasized the need for equal treatment and fair compensation for all genders.

Festive Season Concerns and Overtime Pay:

Appealing to employers’ sense of responsibility, the union leaders demanded proper time off for the festive season and double pay for those required to work on holidays, as stipulated by law. “Denying overtime pay is an irregularity that will not be tolerated,” warned Ombati.

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