The Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) has slammed the government over recent tax hikes on Kenyan workers.
In a presser held on Saturday, the independent organization urged the government to withdraw some of the new taxes imposed on the workers.
The union led by COTU Deputy Secretary General Benson Okwaro accused the government of burdening Kenyans by increasing the cost of fuel and hiking taxes on Kenyan workers.
“Kenyans have not been able to get a salary increase be it in the public sector or private sector but instead of finding a way of cautioning members, the government is going around and adding taxes which has resulted in the hiked cost of living,” noted the COTU deputy Secretary General.
President William Ruto, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, and Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi during a meeting with Trade Unions representatives at State House Nairobi on February 14, 2023
The union demanded a 50 per cent wage increment for all workers across the country in a bid to aid them in handling the current living conditions.
“Your Excellency, these taxes are not helping us at all. What we are saying is that we want a general wage increase. SRC suspended it immediately and it is not helping. It does not make any sense,” lamented Okwaro.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Okwaro noted that the plea was aimed at protecting the Kenyan worker against rampant taxation being imposed by the Kenya Kwanza Government.
“Unless the government finds a way to cushion workers, we might be forced to take industrial action. The Kenyan worker is suffering as we are the ones absorbing the high cost of living.,” argued Okwaro.
The plight comes against the backdrop of a recent historic hike in fuel prices, an affair that has sparked outrage from different stakeholders and politicians alike.
The organisation also reiterated that the protests were not aimed at sparking any rivalry with the government, refuting any allegations of the lawsuit against the government.
“The rumors are false, our organisation has not tabled any legal proceedings against the government, we just wanted to tell the government to lower taxation on the Kenyan workers.” noted the COTU official.
COTU wants the government to take immediate action in order to save the country from plunging into an economic crisis.
Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli in Geneva on Wednesday, June 7, 2023