In a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeal has halted the implementation of the Housing Levy, a controversial deduction that had sparked widespread opposition from workers’ unions across Kenya. The court’s decision has been hailed as a major victory for workers’ rights, but the union is not resting on its laurels.
“We are delighted that the court has recognized the injustice of the Housing Levy,” said the National Secretary General of the Kenya Media Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KPMPDU). “This is a victory for all workers who have been forced to bear the burden of this unfair deduction.”
The court’s ruling found that the Housing Levy was unconstitutional and that it had been imposed without proper consultation with workers. The court also ordered the government to immediately refund all illegal deductions.
“We are calling on employers to comply with the court’s ruling and to immediately refund all illegal deductions from workers’ salaries,” said the KPMPDU Secretary General. “We will not tolerate any further exploitation of workers.”
The union is also calling for a fair distribution of the proposed 2.75% SHIF deductions. The SHIF is a new social security fund that is intended to provide healthcare and other benefits to workers. However, the union is concerned that the government is planning to use the SHIF to finance its own budget shortfall, rather than to benefit workers.
“We want to ensure that the SHIF is used for its intended purpose,” said the KPMPDU Secretary General. “We believe that the money should be distributed fairly among government, employers, and employees, to prevent exploitation and ensure the rightful sharing of financial responsibilities.”
The union is also demanding comprehensive medical cover for all workers. “We believe that all workers should have access to quality healthcare,” said the KPMPDU Secretary General. “The SHIF should be used to provide comprehensive medical cover for all workers, regardless of their employment status.”
The KPMPDU’s victory in the Court of Appeal is a major step forward in the fight for workers’ rights in Kenya. However, the union remains vigilant and is committed to continuing the struggle for equitable treatment and fair compensation for all workers.