Outgoing Head of ILO-East Africa Ms. Kawar Pays a Courtesy Call to Bro. Atwoli

Sis. Mary Kawar the outgoing Director of the ILO East Africa Office paid a courtesy call to COTU-K  and Bro. Francis Atwoli at the umbrella bodies Offices in Nairobi. Sis Mary Kawar has served as the Head of ILO East Africa, a regional office in-charge of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, located in Dar es Salaam for close to 2 years. Bro. Atwoli congratulated her for serving well in the region and for her intervention quoting her input in promotion rights of migrants and domestic workers. Bro Njeru the General Secretary of KUDHEIHA and an executive board member of COTU-K who was also present, also commended her for the strong fight she always put up for domestic workers during the period of her service.

“She has used her skills exemplary to deliver results and promote solidarity in the region as well as strengthening the unions.” 

Bro. Atwoli added. The entire COTU-K fraternity wishes her well in her next assignment and welcomed her to visit the country regularly.

On her part Ms. Kawar was humbled by the appreciation and respect she has always received from the workers bodies in the region. She particularly was grateful of the great support she received from EATUC the regional umbrella body for workers. She pointed out that EATUC had been a valuable partner in the mainstreaming of ILO actions in the East Africa sub-region and has helped in strengthening ILOs cooperation the regional governments and other social partners. 

Ms. Kawar, a Jordanian national, welcomed Bro. Atwoli and the COTU-K leadership to visit her country and explore its rich heritage.

Chineese Delegation of Trade Unionists Visits COTU-K

Chinese Delegation of Trade Unionists Visits COTU-K

The Central Organization of Trade Unions – Kenya (COTU-K) is currently hosting  delegation of Trade Unionist from China. The delegation is from Hainan Federation of Trade Unions and its lead by its Executive Vice Chairman  Bro. Wan Quan.  The rest of  the delegation includes;  

  • Gao Guanghui – Vice Inspector, Hainan Federation of Trade Unions.
  • Mr. Wang Yeji Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of Qionghai Municipal People’s Congress; Chairman of Qionghai Federation of Trade Unions.
  • Mr. Zeng Lingyong – Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of Tunchang Municipal Municipal People’s Congress, Chairman of Tunchang Federation of Trade Unions.
  • Ms. Chen Yaping – Department Head of Women Staff Members of from Hainan Federation of Trade Unions
  • Ms. Yanh=g Qiuhong – International Department Staff of from Hainan Federation of Trade Unions

While receiving the delegation the Secretary General of COTU-K Bro. Francis Atwoli observed that he started traveling to China 30 years ago and that Kenya Trade Union Movement has a long and strong relationship with their counterparts from China. He reminded the delegation that they are always welcomed not just for official work but also to enjoy the war hospitality that Kenya and COTU-K has to offer.

COTU-K Calls for a Political Truce to Break the Impasse

COTU-K Calls for a Political Truce

On Thursday 12th October 2017, The COTU-K  Executive Board and the General Secretaries from all its 44 affiliates unions met at Solidarity House to deliberate on the prevailing political situation in the country that has been escalating. Led by Secretary General Bro. Francis Atwoli the COTU-K leadership observed that the country has been tinkering on an imminent conflict for several months running into the August 8th General Elections, and that since the nullification of that election by the supreme court of Kenya the situation has slowly been getting more tensed. COTU-K observed that the countrywide demonstrations are bleeding the economy; companies are closing down, workers are loosing jobs especially the Hotel Industry where their has been massive cancelation of booking as the tourism takes a beating. While addressing the media the Secretary General warned that Kenya was now headed to brinkmanship and that the situation needs to be arrested before it gets more worse than the post elections violence that rocked the country in 2007/2008.

In view of the delicate situation, COTU-K through its Secretary General Bro Atwoli is calling for a Political Truce to Break the Impasse. He has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to reach out to one another for talks to save the country from falling into civil strife. Bro. Atwoli said that COTU-K is ready to convene the talks. He further gave a list of the eminent personalities who can lead the dialogue. These include; Hon. Yusuf Haji, Hon. Amos Wako, Hon. Jamleck Kamau, Hon. Dr. Oburu Odinga, Mr. Abraham Kiptanui, Mr. Hassan Ole Kamwaro, Hon. Zipporah Kittony, former labour minister Philip Masinde, Mr. Chris Kirubi, Hon. David Musila and Hon. Phoebe Asiyo as competent people who can lead such talks.

Bro. Atwoli said that the large number of unemployed youths is  a perfect recipe for chaos as they have nothing to lose.

“The handlers of these two big political outfits must advise them to tone down the political rhetoric. The current chest-thumping being displayed by both sides is not good for this nation. Unless we are careful someone will have to be held accountable.”

He added politicians must never view an election as a matter of life and death for the sake of a free, fair and credible election.

Retreat for Judges of Employment and Labour Relations Court

The COTU Kenya Secretary General Bro. Francis Atwoli today joined the Judges of the Industrial Court and representatives from the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) making a presentation at the Retreat for Judges of Employment and Labour Relations Court held at Safari Park Hotel. The Retreat held on Friday 6th October 2017, in his remarks the Bro. Atwoli appealed to the judges to protect the Industrial court and Protect the integrity of the court, Trade Unions, employers and employers. He also thanked the Judges for being a court that workers can rely on. On the other hand, Bro. Isaiah Kubai an executive Boad member of COTU (K) appealed to the judges to review the registry of the Court and second the charges of the Court saying, “The charges and costs by the court are becoming a big burden to workers.”

The retreat had 12 judges led by Hon. justice Prof. Otieno-Odek Director JTI, Principal Judge Hon. Justice Nduma Nderi and Hon. Kennedy Kandet Registrar, ELRC among others.

OATUU President Bro. Atwoli at AU/OATUU Forum on Democracy & Governance

 The Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) President who is also the COTU-K Secretary General Bro. Francis Atwoli on Tuesday 5th October 2017 joined other Trade Unionists from Africa at the 8th AU /OATUU Annual Partnership Forum at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi.

The forum is Joint Initiative of the Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) an organ of AU. The Directorate is designed to serve as a catalyst to facilitate the involvement of African peoples in Africa and around the world in the affairs of the AU. CIDO has two divisions, the Civil Society Division and the Diaspora Division. It also has a unit that serves as the Secretariat of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC). The Council, which is composed of civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-state organs, was established in 2004 as an advisory organ to the AU.

Other prominent personalities at the forum included; Bro. Ahmed Albashir Director CIDO , Bro Arezki Mezhoud OATUU Secretary General, Bro.Emmanuel Nzunda Deputy Secretary General OATUU, Sis. Maria Francisco Deputy GS UNTS-CS , Bro. Eric Manzi Chairman EATUC among others. The theme of the forum is; Democracy and Governance in Africa.

”Functioning of trade unions and free media are also considered to be the fundamental features of Democracy,” said Bro Atwoli

The Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) is an independent regional union federation for trade union centres in Africa. Founded in 1973 (under the Organisation of African Unity), from the merger of the All-African Trade Union Federation (AATUF), the African Trade Union Confederation (ATUC), and the smaller Pan-African Workers’ Congress, the OATUU has maintained a position of independence from the International union federations.

FES Kenya Resident Representative Bro. Henrik Maihack Meets COTU-K Sec Gen Bro. Atwoli

FES Kenya Resident Representative Bro. Henrik Maihack Meets COTU-K Sec Gen Bro. Atwoli

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Kenya incoming Resident Representative Bro. Henrik Maihack (second right ), outgoing Resident Representative Bro. Dr. Heinz Bongartz (left ) and FES Kenya Programmes Coordinator Sis. Marggie Peters (right) paid a courtesy call to Bro. Francis Atwoli Secretary General COTU Kenya where they discussed future cooperation between COTU Kenya and FES .

Brother Atwoli praised Bro . Heinz Bongartz for his work in Kenya particularly for initiating several training programmes for our rank and file members and leaders for our affiliates.

FES Kenya Resident Representative Bro. Henrik Maihack Meets COTU-K Sec Gen Bro. Atwoli

FES Kenya Resident Representative Bro. Henrik Maihack Meets COTU-K Sec Gen Bro. Atwoli
FES Kenya Resident Representative Bro. Henrik Maihack Meets COTU-K Sec Gen Bro. Atwoli