International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

An Analysis of the Factors Affecting Employee Relations in the Flower Industry in Kenya, a Case of Waridi Ltd, Athi River
Emily Atieno Odhong, Jacob Omolo

Despite impressive performance and contribution to national economy, the flower industry in Kenya is still faced with decent work deficits. These could be manifested in the terms and conditions of employment leading to industrial unrest in organizations within the flower industry. Trade Union membership has been shown to be low, with membership in the main union at just 17% of the total number of workers in flower farms. The effect of weak employee and industrial relations system and practice is manifested in the increase in the spate of industrial strikes and attendant man-days lost. The number of man-days lost due to industrial strikes almost doubled from 14,806 man-days in 2008 to 25,504 man-days in 2010. This, however, increased tremendously by about sevenfold to 175,329 in 2011. Other effects are seen in declining labour productivity in all sectors of the country’s economy, increasing unit labour cost and low levels of competitiveness. Kenya’s labour productivity growth has, for example, declined from 4 per cent in 2007 to 1.4 per cent in 2012. This paper sought to analyze factors affecting employee relations in organizations in Kenya, the case study of Waridi Ltd. Study variables included working conditions, communication, collective bargaining issues, recruitment and remuneration. The study adopted descriptive research design and a target population of 420. Stratified random sampling was done. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data. Qualitative and quantitative techniques of data analysis were employed. Based on the study findings, it is concluded that free communication and information flow is important in promoting employee relations. Collective bargaining provides the structure for clear job description and work performance. Overall, employee relation concepts such as employee trust, the manner in which employee complaints are dealt with, commitment to the organization, genuine social dialogue and existence of team spirit are fundamental in promoting good employee relations.

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