Study Circle Education Leaders Evaluation Workshop.

COT(K)/PANAF ABVV – FGTB Project is currently holding an evaluation workshop for leaders who participated in Study Circles in different sectors of work.

The purpose of this training is to address the following issues:

  1. Basic Trade Union Education
  2. Collective Bargaining Agreement
  3. Grievances Handling
  4. Occupation Health and Safety
  5. Industrial Relation and Social Dialogue
  6. Labour Laws

 

 

SG recognized by KQ as Platinum Elite Life Time Member of KQ.

The COTU (K) Secretary-General Dr. Francis Atwoli was today recognized by Kenya Airways as a Platinum Elite Life Time Member of KQ.

This recognition is a result of the patriotism to the National Airline considering Dr. Atwoli has been flying with KQ for close to 50 years.

The KQ team, led by Evelyne Munyoki who is the Chief Human Resources Officer, thanked the Secretary-General for the great partnership and as a result, gifted Dr. Atwoli with a free business class return ticket to any destination of his choice that is serviced by KQ.

Also accompanying Ms. Munyoki was Tony Gathongo who is Station Manager at KQ, come crew and staff from KQ.

Dr. Atwoli thanked KQ for the recognition as he even encouraged Kenyans to continue flying with the said Airline considering it’s not only the Pride of Africa but also one of the best in the world.

Happy Utamaduni Day.

On behalf of COTU (K)’s Executive Board and all its Affiliated Union, I would like to wish all dedicated, hardworking, and selfless Kenyan Workers a memorable Utamaduni Day.

COTU (K) celebrates all your sacrifices and commitment towards Building Back Better. We will continue to ensure that whilst you are giving your best of energies and focus towards serving and building a better Kenya.

Happy Utamaduni Day.

Validation of COVID 19 Resilience & Recovery Strategy for 2021- 2025.

The Central Organization of Trade Unions, Kenya has developed a draft “Covid – 19 Response and Resilience Strategy” whose objective is to support the National Center and its Affiliated Trade Unions recover from the negative impacts of the pandemic.

Forward by Secretary-General.

Building Back Better (BBB) has, in the near past, become a strategic focus for governments, international organizations, multinationals, regional political and economic blocks, and more importantly, trade unions. In doing so, the objective has become to craft policies and plans, whilst build structures within institutions and organizations that are resilient to sudden changes. Today, the world is a different place because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is because, with the advent of this Pandemic, the world of work faced great challenges due to the measures and advisories provided by governments and the World Health Organization, WHO.

But even before Covid-19, it is important to note that the world of work was still undergoing changes that required strategic thinking to overcome. For instance, technology and issues surrounding climate change were already proving to be a disruption enough to the world of work as we had known it. Work was being automated with robots replacing humans in many manufacturing plants and some governments and organizations were already investing in artificial intelligence allegedly and erroneously so, to increase efficiency. This also meant that questions surrounding productivity were also taking center stage with many employers emphasizing on outputs but with little focus on the welfare and rights of workers. Therefore, it is only right to say that most of the challenges brought about by Covid-19 to the world of work are not entirely new. If anything, Covid-19 has just acted as a catalyst for the changes that have been for long-anticipated and dreaded in the world of work.

Yet, in all that, Trade Unions in Africa and throughout the world played a major role in protecting jobs and lives immediately after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.  Through the ability of a union to negotiate for better pay and conditions and defend workers’ rights, many trade unions entered into MoUs with governments and employers to not only safeguard jobs but also ensure that workers were safe at their place of work.

Now, it behooves us as trade unions to engage in strategic thinking about the future. And such is the purpose of COTU (K)’s Covid-19 response and resilience strategy (2021-2025). Herein are plans that COTU (K) has resolved to undertake stemming from one of the resolutions of the 16th Quinquennial Conference held in Kisumu on April 9th, 2021 whereupon COTU (K) delegates and the leadership agreed to come up with strategic plans for the future.

This strategic document speaks, at great length, on how COTU (K) and affiliated unions can manage emerging issues like organizing around the informal sector, tapping into the gig economy, ensuring just transition, and how to work with key partners especially in the supply chains.

Emphasis has also been placed on, first, collaborations and partnerships with social partners and, secondly, the role of trade unions in the implementation and awareness of SDGs, specifically SDG 8 which focuses on Decent Work and Economic Growth.

We all look forward to our full commitment towards the implementation of this document and also its adaptation by our affiliate unions so as to build trade unions that are resilient to future changes in the world of work. #buildingbackbetter #danishtradeunionagency.

 

Dr. Francis Atwoli NOM (DZA), CBS, EBS, MBS

Secretary General – COTU (K)

World Day for Decent Work.

As we observe the World Day for Decent Work, we call upon governments and all key players to increase their engagements with trade unions especially on awareness and implication of SDG 8. At the same time, the government must ensure climate-friendly jobs and eliminate child labour. #sdggoal8 #decentwork #ituc

SG’s Speech at the General Congress of GTUWA in Egypt.

The speech of Dr. Francis Atwoli, Nom (DZA), CBS, EBS, MBS

The General Congress of the General Trade Union of Workers’ in Agriculture, Irrigation, Fisheries and Land Reclamation in The Arab Republic of Egypt

 

Dear colleagues,

First of all, I would like to extend my deep greetings and gratitude to:

  • His Excellency Brother Mohammed Saa’fan (Minister of Manpower)
  • His Excellency Brother. Gebaly Mohammed (President of E.T.U.F)
  • Brother Eid Mersal (President of GTUWA)
  • Brother ABDUL Aziz (Vice — President of GTUWA)
  • Ramadan (General Secretary of GTUWA)
  • Samy Mohammed (Treasurer of GTUWA)
  • And other distinguished officials of the union and members of both secretariats and executive board
  1. I want to pay my special tribute to the two fallen heroes of this union, Brother Eng. Abdel Haleem Mohamed who passed on in 2012 and Brother. Mohamed Salim who passed on this year on the 24th of March 2021.
  2. The two were most respectful and veteran African Trade Union leaders not only in Egypt but in the entire Nile Basin Region as they championed for total trade union unity in this region by articulating problems facing workers in the Agricultural sectors of our grappling economics on the continent of Africa.
  3. The two departed champions of social justice were very instrumental information of “The Federation of Nile Basin Agriculture Trade Unions” headquartered here in Cairo, Egypt.
  4. I want to thank my Brother Eid on the solidarity he exhibited in making sure that the union was responsible for the medication and warm send-off of Brother Mohamed Salim.
  5. I equally to take this special opportunity to very highly thank Brother Eid for inviting me with my delegation from Kenya to come here in my all capacities as the continental workers’ spokesperson and under the banner of OATUU- President.
  6. I’m humbled and I have no words in which I can express my happiness on behalf of my delegation for the manner in which we have been warmly treated and cared for. May the Almighty Allah protect the Union leadership under Brother Eid.
  7. I’m a hundred percent sure that workers in this union stand to benefit more under the able Leadership of Brother Eid. Brother Eid has served this union in different capacities including being the National Treasurer and he has immense knowledge in the administration and management of this organization.
  8. I want to assure you that in Kenya, both the Kenyan Plantation and Agricultural workers’ Union (KPAWU) and Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU (K)), that I lead, are committed to ensuring that we protect more than one thousand (1000), Egyptian Workers, working on more than 1500 hectares of land in Kenya. This will be in support of Eid’s efforts to strengthen the relationship between KPAWU, COTU (K), and the GTUWAILR, a project that the minister of manpower His. Excellency. Mohammed Saa’ fan has endorsed.
  9. COTU (K) also enjoys a very cordial relationship with the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), which deputises me at the OATUU level: I’m sorry to inform you that the late Brother Wahab Allah who passed on this year was my deputy — President.
  10. We have also extended our hand of fraternity and solidarity to the GTUWAILR through Brother Eid by inviting him and the Union’s delegation to visit Kenya, this year, during the 1st week of November.
  11. It pleases me on behalf of my Organization in Kenya and on behalf of our Government, I extend my warm invitation to his Excellency Mr. Mohamed Saaran to visit Kenya.
  1. Finally, I wish you all the success in the event of your wonderful congress and your activities in the service and welfare of GTUWA and its affiliated members.

 

I thank you all — God bless you!

DR.FRANCIS ATWOLI, NOM (DZA). CBS, EBS, MBS

Press Release.

COTU (K) SECRETARY GENERAL APPEAL TO AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS ON VACCINATION AND TAXATION

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (Kenya), COTU (K), Secretary-General Dr. Francis Atwoli, and the Vice President of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Brussels, yesterday, in his capacity as the President of Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), officially closed a one-week North African Sub-Regional Conference on Post Covid-19 workers’ position in Hurghada, Egypt.

Tentatively, the S.G, today, will be proceeding to Alexandria to officially open a North African Sub-Regional women conference on Post Covid-19 workers’ position in the same region.

While closing the conference in Hurghada, Egypt, Bro. Atwoli urged employers on the African Continent to liaise with governments and appealed to them to subsidize the losses that most African employers incurred during the Covid-19 period. He also emphasized the need to waive policies, especially on taxation measures, whilst calling out African governments that have taken advantage of the pandemic to exploit workers and the easy cost of doing business so that sustainability of employment and creation of new jobs Post Covid can be realized.

To give an example, he took a swipe at most African governments, including Kenya, that have remained insensitive to the plight of their citizenry whereupon despite the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic situation, these governments have continued to impose heavy taxation on workers and the rest of the people. He called out the government on the current heavy taxation on fuel prices where Kenyans have been forced to pay up to Ksh. 135 for a liter of petrol at a time when the Kenyan neighbours are paying far much less and wondered whether such governments should continue maintaining their silence when their people are bearing such burdens amid the pandemic.

Dr. Atwoli equally observed that the continent has suffered nearly 70 million job losses as a  result of Covid-19 which hardly hit the strong 54 African member states of the African Union. He also made a promise that African workers under OATUU, which represents all African workers and is based in Accra Ghana, will continue working closely with governments, employers, and other international organizations for purposes of finding a lasting position on how workers will be appreciated. To rally this call, he called on the Africa governments to focus on vaccination so that the African continent is not left behind as the rest of the world is vaccinating its populace.

 

Adams Barasa

INTERNATIONAL ADVISOR

Message of Condolence.

CONDOLENCE MESSAGE ON THE PASSING ON OF THE FORMER

PRESIDENT OF ALGERIA H.E ABDELAZIZ BOUTEFLIKA

 

It is with deep sadness and sorrow that we learnt of the passing on of His Excellency Abdelaziz Bouteflika, former President of Algeria, on the 17th of September 2021.

As the President of the Organization of Africa Trade Union Unity (OATUU) and the Secretary-General of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (Kenya), COTU (K), the former president was a brother and a friend as he was very instrumental in mainstreaming and championing for the rights and welfare of African workers.

His rich history of involvement in international affairs indeed didn’t just start whilst serving as President considering he is among the few African leaders who championed for non-alignment at a time when the world was being dichotomized into East or West. Because of his philosophy on Pan Africanism together with other leaders like Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere, the continent still remembers their African dream as they work towards a more united Africa.

The former President close working relationship with the leadership of the General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) and the Algerian workers in general saw him extend the same cordial working relationship to the African workers through OATUU. For instance, whilst serving as the president of OATUU, the former president awarded me a National Order of Merit in recognition of my work towards agitating for the rights and welfare of African workers and also uniting them through OATUU. We forever remain indebted to his kind gesture and the tremendous support he accorded us as the leadership of OATUU and to all the workers on the African continent.

As the country continues in mourning this great African leader, our pra1ers go to the immediate family of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the people of Algeria.

Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

Yours Sincerely,

 

Dr. Francis Atwoli, NOM (DZA), CBS, EBS, MBS

SECRETARY GENERAL, COTU (K) / PRESIDENT OATUU

COTU(K) Press Release: Appeal For The Restoration of Civilian Rule in Guinea-Conakry.

In my capacity as the President of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) which is a Pan-African trade union organization that represents 73 affiliated national trade union centers drawn from the 54 African countries, I am writing to seek the immediate intervention of the African Union in ensuring the restoration of civilian rule in Guinea-Conakry and the release of President Alpha Condé.

Issues of Coup d’état in the African Continent are primitive, uncouth and crude methods used in the yesteryears to gain power; but considering we have over time embraced democracy, freedom of speech, peace and tolerance such ill-advised methods should not be encouraged or used to gain power.

I am, therefore, appealing to the leadership of the African Union to move with speed and consolidate the support of other African States, including the support of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other Regional Economic Communities (RECs), to intervene and restore democracy in Guinea-Conakry. They must, in the process, make sure that president Condé is released to continue enjoying his freedom as dictated by democracy.

I say this knowing all too well that as a continent we are alive to the challenges that Guinea-Conakry is facing and we appreciate the fact that they can be addressed by a constitutional way and not through coups.

This is the position of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU).

Yours Sincerely,

Dr. Francis Atwoli, NOM (DZA), CBS, EBS, MBS

PRESIDENT, ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN TRADE UNION UNITY