In Kenya, the Solidarity Center focuses on paralegal training, women’s empowerment, gender-based violence in the workplace, building organizational capacity for agricultural workers, ending child labor on farms and plantations, and promoting innovative union outreach strategies.
Political instability and related outbreaks of violence have seriously threatened Kenya’s status as the largest and most diversified economy in East Africa. Restoring sustainable progress is linked to overcoming Kenya’s staggering poverty and unemployment rates, as well as rebuilding workers’ confidence that they will benefit from renewed economic growth. As a major civil society organization, the Kenyan labor movement is poised to address these issues, including the legal and political problems contributing to the recent crisis. The Solidarity Center’s principal partner in Kenya is the Kenyan Central Organization of Trade Unions, whose 600,000 members represent more than 30 percent of Kenya’s industrialized workforce. COTU plays a vital role in improving the living and working conditions of all Kenyans.
Kenya: Court Rules Domestic Workers Covered by Employment Law.
May 6, 2013—Employers in Kenya now must abide by the verbal contracts they make with domestic workers, following a landmark ruling by the nation’s high court that also effectively places domestic workers under Kenya’s employment law. Saying that under the Employment Act, “a verbal contract is a contract that can confer rights and can be enforced,” the judge ruled that domestic workers are covered by the national minimum wage and other provisions of the employment law.
Kenya: Presidential Candidates Talk Jobs at First-Ever Forum.
February 22, 2013— In the largest gathering of presidential candidates organized by civil society in Kenya in the current election, five of eight presidential candidates took part this week in a forum sponsored by the labor movement. Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, who is running again for office, also took part.
Kenya: A Commitment to Unionize Informal-Sector Workers.
January 29, 2013—Millions of people around the world labor in the informal economy as taxi drivers, fruit sellers and in other jobs partially or fully outside government regulation and taxation. In Kenya, where the informal sector accounts for 80 percent of employment and contributes 25 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), union outreach is helping give these workers a voice on the job.
Regional Journalists Union Leadership Conference Opens in Nairobi.
May 25, 2012—A two-day regional conference focused on strengthening union leadership within the media industry in Eastern Africa opened in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday with a clarion call to journalists in the region to overcome their apathy toward advocating for their worker rights. The conference was organized by the Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) with support from the Solidarity Center.
“The Beginning of Social Justice for Domestic Workers Internationally.”
July 20, 2011 — Evaline Mulo knew that it was wrong for her employer to slap her and yell at her, but she did not feel strong enough to fight the abuse alone. With the aid of her union, she learned to stand up for her rights as a domestic worker and teach others to do the same.
Changing the Face of Unions: Kenyan Women in Leadership.
July 12, 2011—“I may be biologically challenged, but I am not unable to perform my duties,” a beaming Perpetua Mponjiwa told an appreciative audience when she was called upon to introduce herself at a recent conference of women union leaders in Kisumu, Kenya. “I want to debunk the myth that women cannot participate fully in union leadership activities just because they happen to be women.”
Letter from Central Organization of Trade Unions - Kenya (COTU-K) Secretary General Francis Atwoli to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in support of Wisconsin public employee union members, March 3, 2011.
See what workers around the world
are doing to support their union brothers and sisters in Wisconsin.
Kenyan Union Makes Domestic Worker Rights a Strategic Priority
. Thanks to the Solidarity Center and its Kenyan union partner, more than 3,000 domestic workers in Nairobi and Kisumu are proud union members.
Hotel and Tourism Workers Help Fight Human Trafficking in Kenya
. In the coastal city of Mombasa, where tourism is the main industry, the Solidarity Center trained shop stewards from a hotel and service workers union about the danger signs of human trafficking.
Solidarity Center Publications