BY JACK MARWA BILL 3RD
NAIVASHA KENYA, The salaries of thousands of flower farm workers is expected to triple if a bill presented in parliament sails through
The bill that looks into the poor wages and working conditions seeks to rise the salaries from the current Sh3, 500 to Sh10, 000.
According to the chairman parliamentary committee on agriculture John Mututho, the bill had passed through the necessary stages and would be presented in parliament soon.
He decried the low wages in the sector despite the farmers raking in millions of shillings in profit.
Mututho said that the bill would also address issues of workers safety, maternity leave and work related issues.
“For ages workers in the horticulture sector have being paid peanuts and worked in deplorable conditions and this has to change,”
The Naivasha Mp hit out at some flower farmers for been profit oriented as their workers continued to wallow in poverty.
Oserian, Van Den Berg and Maridari flower farms are some of the leading farms in terms of salaries and pay close to Sh10,000 per month inclusive of house allowance.
The Kenya Plantations Agriculture Workers Union (KPAWU) has welcomed the new bill saying that it would go along way in shaping the sector.
According to Peter Otieno the secretary general KPAWU Naivasha branch, majority of farmers were pegging their wages on the agriculture order.
“The minimum wage under the agriculture order is Sh3,400 including house allowance which is peanuts considering to what the farmers earn,”
He said that salaries for workers in the sector should be pegged on profit made by the farmers.
“The cost of living has continued to soar and its time the workers needs were addressed immediately,”
Over seven flower farms have gone on strike in the last one month citing poor working conditions and low wages against the high cost of living.
Early in the week over 200 workers from Sunbuds flower farm downed tools over low wages saying that they were receiving Sh3,600 per month.