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EPZA voices concern over salary increment

Zachary Ochuodho @zachuodho

The Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) has opposed the five per cent pay rise which had been awarded to all unionisable workers on May 1, during Labour Day.

According to the EPZA, the increment will make export products from Kenya more expensive than their competitors across the world.

United Aryan (EPZ) chairman Pakat Bedi said already they pay their employees a minimum salary of Sh22,000 – which is way above the minimum wage of 12,000 paid to individuals with no skills.

“If the five per cent rise in wage is implemented in EPZ, the products they manufacture will be more expensive at the international market and thus make them uncompetitive to their competitors from China, Ethiopia and Indonesia,” Bedi said.

EPZ employs about 52,000 people and about 200,000 indirectly in Kenya. United Aryan (EPZ) Ltd, a garmets manufacturer, employs 10,000 people. Its products include woven denim, knit denim, non-denims like twills, canvas, herringbone, ribstop, synthetic fabric and knits.

Labour Cabinet secretary Ukur Yattani (pictured) said the ministry intends to review labour laws to conform with the 2010 Constitution. He said they want the wage increment to be linked to productivity.

The move, the CS said, will ensure growth in the manufacturing sector, as well as employment of many.

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