One of the most famous public figures in the country is Mzee Atwoli who ideally should be the Kenyan worker’s advocates just as Jesus is for Christians. He is a highly polarizing individual and there are mixed reactions on whether it is time to replace him or not. What many people agree on is the fact that the Kenyan worker continues to be exploited by unscrupulous employers while the government and worker’s unions do little to improve their welfare.
Are Kenyans the most overexploited labor force in Africa? I don’t know the answer to this question but what I know is that many Kenyans are being under paid and the current economic crisis Many people have lost their jobs and essentially lacking any source of income to support themselves of their families. The situation is dire and there is no solution in sight and the situation is likely to worsen as the political temperatures continue to rise and investors take a ‘wait and see approach’ to new investments.
There are a number of reasons why employees in Nairobi’s capital may still be being exploited by employers. One reason is that there is still a lack of regulation and enforcement of labor laws in Kenya. This means that employers can get away with paying workers below minimum wage, not providing them with proper contracts, and subjecting them to dangerous and unhealthy working conditions.
Another reason is that workers in Nairobi are often desperate for any kind of employment, and so they are willing to accept whatever terms and conditions are offered to them. This gives employers a lot of power to exploit workers. Many Kenyan workers cannot raise questions at their workplace and advocate for fair working conditions as they can be victimized and fired without any repercussions to the employer.
Finally, there is a general lack of awareness among workers about their rights, and so they may not even realize that they are being exploited. Many Kenyan workers especially those in the informal sector working in non-skilled jobs do not know their rights hence they are taken advantage of by their employers. Workers’ unions are also not doing enough to educate these workers on their rights and the legal channels to follow if they feel their rights have been violated.