COVID-19 weakens gains by labor unions

COVID-19 weakens gains by labor unions

The COVID-19 pandemic diminished gains for labor unions in the country as the labor sector took a significant hit from the global health crisis.

Disclosures contained in the 2021 Economic Survey which was published last week for instance shows a deceleration in new collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and pool of unionisable employees.

The total number of CBAs registered with the Industrial Court for instance fell to 172 in 2020 from a higher 263 agreements in 2019.

At the same time, the number of unionisable employees fell to 16,138 from 47,465.

The largest drop in number of unionisable employees was registered in the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor-vehicle and motorcycles category with the number of covered employees collapsing to 60 from 20,267.

Other categories to mark the significant downturn in unionised workers include agriculture (2,958), transport and storage (888), human health and social work activities (14) and construction (81).

During the same period, the average basic wages offered from the registered CBAs fell to Ksh.34,016 from a higher Ksh.50,723 in 2019.

At the same time, average monthly allowances offered contracted to Ksh.6,006 from Ksh.10,805 previously.