The International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention (No. 154) otipulates that collective bargaining is a process through which employers and workers’ representatives (unions) determine working conditions and terms of employment; and/or regulate relations between employers and workers; or employers or their organizations and a workers’ organization or workers’ organizations.
The primary objective of these negotiations is to arrive at a collective agreement that regulates terms and conditions of employment. Collective agreements also address the rights and responsibilities of the parties, thus ensuring a harmonious and productive workplace. Enhancing the inclusiveness of collective bargaining and collective agreements is a good way of reducing inequity and extending labour protection.
For 60 years, the Federation of Kenya Employers has not only been the sole Voice of Employers on labour and social affair issues, but also the main body that negotiates collective agreements for all the sectoral associations. FKE’s role in negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA’s) is a result of the technical expertise within the Federation acquired over the years guiding and representing members on the legal and institutional framework for employment relations. This has given its members the confidence to allow it lead negotiations on CBA’s both at enterprise and sectoral levels. The labour market in Kenya has also acknowledged FKE as a fair and impartial arbiter for collective bargaining. In turn, FKE has been candid with its members, sometimes informing them when their conduct or practice contradicts the legal framework or is not considered as good Industrial Relations practice.
In this spirit, the Federation of Kenya Employers on 9th December 2020 led the negotiations and signing of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA),between Mars Wrigley Confectionery Limited and Bakery, Confectionery, Food Manufacturing and Allied Workers’ Union (Kenya). The three-year CBA which takes effect from 1st March 2021, sets out the terms and conditions of employment for all members of the workers union. The deal was reached through the guidance and technical support from FKE’s Industrial Relations Department who have spent time with both parties in providing guidance, training and advice on Negotiation, Counterproposal, Mandate and techniques of reaching an agreement. Proper guidance in this key process helps in averting tensions in the labour market over CBA negotiations including the slow pace in which Collective Bargaining Agreements in key sectors are negotiated.
The Federation will endeavor to support fair and competitive wages where workers are compensated in a manner that is sustainable and enables enterprise sustainability and job creation.