ATWOLI WARNS AFRICAN GORVENMENTS TO RESPECT THE ROLE OF TRADE UNIONS

COTU/ADM 1/VOL XI/43
30th November, 2014
PRESS RELEASE

RE: ATWOLI WARNS AFRICAN GORVENMENTS TO RESPECT THE ROLE OF TRADE UNIONS

The Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU (K) Secretary General who is also the President of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) Brother Francis Atwoli has warned political leaders in Africa together with their Governments to respect the Trade Union movement on the Continent and stop viewing them as a threat to their Political hegemony.

Bro. Atwoli while addressing the OATUU Executive committee members in Accra Ghana yesterday at the Organizations headquarters, emphasized that Africa, Asia and Latin America all attained their independence through the struggle of the Trade Union Movement Kenya included adding that even the review and the renewal of the current African National Constitutions has seen the Trade Union movement on the Continent play a very crucial role as is the case in Tanzania now and 2010 in Kenya where COTU (K) took a central stand in Kenya’s Constitutional making process.

Bro. Atwoli warned those Governments in Africa who are afraid of the illusionary infringement by the trade unions on their dominance and look down upon the Trade Union Movement that it is dangerous to push the Trade Union Movement to the far end of the opposition politics as nowhere in the world has a Government won even in the developed World where the Trade Union Movement has joined opposition to the Government since as workers voices the trade unions are perceived to be part of social partners with the government and employers and they remain insiders in Governments and understand this position more than any other pressure group in the world about the operations in Governments.

He observed that it was absurd to note that whereas the role of Trade Unions’ leaders world over was clearly to champion for the rights and aspirations of the working men and women, some few individuals in governments continue to use their positions of influence to try and intimidate, scuttle, overawe, suffocate and repress these leaders in the pretext of protecting governments yet eventually, such efforts would work against these very governments they claim to serve.

The OATUU President further observed that it is therefore prudent and incumbent upon the governments to work closely with the Trade Union movement for speedy economic growth on the African continent that we all anxiously yarn for as a people and create the much need employment opportunities for thousands and thousands of the African youths who are currently pushed to oblivion, a situation that has forced them to join terrorism groups like the Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al- shabaab in East Africa and it is our concern as labour leaders on the continent to appropriately advice our governments on the need for working together with the Trade Union movement instead of undermining them for individual selfish interests concluding that no government has ever succeeded in fighting the trade union movement globally.

Benson Okwaro
Ag.DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL

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