In Summary
  • The Kenya Agricultural and Plantation Workers’ Union (KAPWU) says tea workers will down tools on October 17 paralysing activities at the international firms, which account for 40 per cent of tea produced in the country.
  • KAPWU secretary-general Francis Atwoli says plantations have refused to honour the directive reached by Labour Court and frustrated talks on the matter.
  • KTGA successfully appealed the ruling of the Labour Court last year stalling the wage increase following a stay order.

Tea multinationals say wages could account for over half their cost after trade unions issued a seven-day strike notice to force implementation of a 30 per cent salary rise awarded by court in 2014.

The Kenya Agricultural and Plantation Workers’ Union (KAPWU) says tea workers will down tools on October 17 paralysing activities at the international firms, which account for 40 per cent of tea produced in the country.

“By increasing the wages by 30 per cent, then it means the wage bill of these companies will go up to 54 per cent; this will obviously subject us to losses,” said Apollo Kiarii, Kenya Tea Growers Association (KTGA) chief executive officer.

Mr Kiarii says the move by KAPWU is ill timed and will affect the growers at a time the sector is trying to recover from losses occasioned by drought.

KAPWU secretary-general Francis Atwoli says plantations have refused to honour the directive reached by Labour Court and frustrated talks on the matter.

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