Kenya: Unions seek review of flower workers' terms

As the world marked Labor Day on Sunday, stakeholders expressed their concern over the continued casualization of labor by various flower farms. They noted that some farms in Naivasha had opted to employ workers on six-month contracts, which locks them out from some benefits.

The farms’ owners have defended themselves, attributing the move to harsh economic times. The Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) accused some of the farms of intentionally doing this, with the contracts ending just when salaries are about to be reviewed.

According to the KPAWU Naivasha branch secretary-general Mr. Ferdinand Juma, the trend is also meant to lock out workers from being represented by the trade union.

Mr. Juma said the seasonal workers were not entitled to pay rise and other benefits awarded only to permanent employees. “We have seen cases where investors are employing workers on a seasonal basis, meaning that they cannot get the annual pay rise or leave as per the labor laws,” he said.

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