28 December 2012

Kenya: Flower Farm Workers Pay Set to Increase

The minimum salary for flower farm workers in the country is expected to rise to Sh10,000 per month if parliament passes the miscellaneous amendment on the labor institution act.

This would also see the working conditions for the thousands of workers change if thenew salaries are set. The chairman of the parliamentary committee on agriculture John Mututho, who has sponsored the amendment, said that for years workers in the floriculture sector had been poorly paid despite earning billions of shillings annually.

"The amendment has gone through the first and the second reading and am sure that my colleagues will endorse this amendment," he said in Naivasha on Wednesday.

Mututho noted that many workers were receiving less that Sh3,000 per month despite the harsh economic times. The legislator said that already the floriculture wages council had been formed as one way of addressing challenges in the sector.

"The floriculture sector is one of the leading foreign exchange earners in the country but the workers have little to show for it," he said.

"The farmers will have no option but to improve the workings so that they are in conformity with the law," he said.But some farmers have expressed fears that such an amendment could lead to loss of their jobs.

"The harsh economic times have adversely affected the market and the amendment will see our salary bill pushed up," said one farmer who declined to be named. Farm workers in Naivasha welcomed the move terming it as long overdue.

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