Hotel workers in Kisumu were reeling from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic as they appealed to the government to release the Sh. 2 billion that was meant to shield jobs in the sector that suffered redundancy.
Chadwick Oloto, the branch secretary of Kenya Hotels and Allied Workers Union, said the amount extended to support hotels and related establishments was yet to reach them.
Oloto said they hoped the exchequer would release the funds in time to help workers who were now faced with school fees due to the phased opening of learning institutions.
He said hotel owners had nothing to offer since they closed their establishment as the number of visitors declined tremendously.
President Uhuru Kenyatta made the announcement on June 1, 2020, when the country celebrated Madaraka Day.
Speaking to the press in Kisumu, Oloto said ever since they had patiently waited for the funds to be released without success.
He said they fear missing out on the funds due to silence from the line ministries who were charged with ensuring the hotel industry benefits from the payout announced by President Kenyatta.
Oloto said the ministry of labour took some names of hotel workers and wondered why they had been mum on the progress.
According to their statistics, Kisumu had over 1,000 hotel workers and only a handful 50 were at work as the rest were home waiting for the economy to open.
Oloto was rallying their umbrella body, the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) to step in and help hotel workers to get their right.