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KUDHEIHA General Secretary Brother Albert Njeru is excited that workers got the minimum wage increase during Labor Day celebration, stating that it was one of his happiest days to be alive.

In his speech to mark the 2022 Labor Day, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered a 12 percent rise on minimum monthly, offering a relief to workers who had gone for three years without a salary review.

The minimum basic pay was last reviewed upwards in May 2018 at the rate of five percent.

“In full appreciation of the critical contribution of workers to the economy [and] following the recommendation of various stakeholders… we find that there is a compelling case to review the minimum wages so as to cushion our workers against further erosion of their purchasing power, while also guaranteeing the competitiveness of our economy,” the President said.

The increment came despite protests from employers who say the country’s economic is in turmoil.

For Brother Njeru, “a well taken care of employee is value to the employer. They show commitment, loyalty and productivity”, he said excitedly.

As a result of the increase, The average minimum wage for a general laborer like a cleaner, messenger, house help and gardener in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu rose from Ksh13,572.90 will rise to Ksh15,201.64.

Triumph for the family

Njeru added that the translation of the wage is that no one should earn less than Ksh500 a day. Effectively no one should be earning less than a dollar a day, he quipped.

He asserted that wage is a human rights issue which helps ensure social protection.

As a trade union representing interests of domestic, hotel, education, hospitals and churches, it is woven as an institution that builds and represents the interests of the family.

Brother Njeru reflects on his journey

He sees himself as a leader, not a boss. A team leader to be precise.

He likes participating actively in initiatives, imparting knowledge and eating, breathing, walking and sleeping worker rights.

In his free time, mentoring, engaging in economic forums and primary and secondary schools bring him great joy.

Brother Albert Njeru, the Kudheiha General Secretary says he seems not to have struggled in exemplifying leadership, having started as a nursery prefect and always being a prefect in his entire education life. “I am a playful person. I have spiritually remained committed to God and a teacher of the word of God, he remarks, sitting relaxed in his office on fourth floor of Sonalux House, along Moi Avenue.

An accountant by profession, he started as a shop steward, then later became an accountant at Ramisi Sugar Company. He would later joined Kudheiha as an accountant. He became the Embu Branch Secretary between 1997 and 2007, before giving it a try and triumphing as the Kudheiha General Secretary on 16th May, 2007.

“At the time I took over, we used to struggle to pay salaries but today, every staff here gets their full salaries on time. We also have a pension scheme, in addition to NSSF. Employee numbers have increased from less than 30 to 203 today, something that gives me great pride”, he remarked.

Njeru says he fears failing, but he sees them as opportunities to wake up.

He is resolutely driven by passion. “If you are passionately doing what you love, you can achieve what you want. Passion is what makes a difference”, he says.

Brother Njeru is unequivocal that workers must keep learning and improve your skills in order to be competitive.

“Nobody wants to be defeated. Do what is right. It begins with you”, he asserts.