Nairobi News


Labour Day: Jobless Nairobians see nothing worth celebrating on this day

As workers all over the world celebrate Labour Day, jobless Nairobians are lamenting the high and ever rising cost of living.

Nairobi News sought the views of a number of young people in the city who are jobless and who admitted that there was nothing to look forward to or celebrate during this year’s Labour Day.

“A lot has changed since the last Labour Day, they announced an increase in minimum wage but what I got was a sack as my boss down scaled operations and closed one branch due to a tough business environment,” Phillip Mwangi said.

“I am not expecting anything to change, I have been looking for a job for the last three years and all I get is ‘business is down we will call you when an opportunity comes’. I’ve gotten used to being jobless so labor day is just a normal hustling day for me,” said Augustine Mutiso.


“Labor Day does not exist for me because I am jobless. I wish we can just scrap it and concentrate on creating jobs as a country. It’s an insult to celebrate workers day when a majority of us youths are unemployed,” said Sally.

On May 1, 2018, Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani, who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta during Labor Day celebrations, announced a five per cent increase in the minimum wage.

CS Yattani also said the government is working to create more jobs by widening investments and stabilizing the country’s political environment and called for dialogue to end the then ongoing strikes that were bedeviling the labor market.


Fast forward to 2019 and city workers have lowered their expectations on the government and any announcement to be made on Wednesday.

“There is no need to keep announcing increased minimum wages when in real sense employers are cutting costs. No one should lie to us that we deserve an increase when someone out there is more qualified and willing to take a lower pay for the same job I hold,” a dejected Paul told Nairobi News.

Workers are instead calling on the government to make it easier for their employers to do business and this will in effect create more employment opportunities for the youth.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu), led by its Secretary General Francis Atwoli, will be leading this year’s Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park grounds.