Thousands of Workers braved the chilly and weather on Sunday May 1st 2016 to mark the labour day celebrations at Uhuru park. Led by The COTU-K Secretary General Bro. Atwoli, the funfair kicked off in earnest at Solidarity Building; the workers Headquaters located along Dunga Road with a Procession that proceeded to Uhuru Park the traditional holding the Celebrations Theme loftily high and well spelled out on the banner.
Despite of the absence of President Uhuru Kenyatta who was engaged at the airport to receive the body of the Late Former First Lady Lucy Kibaki, The government was well represented several Cabinet Secretaries these included; Led by the Chief Guest Madam Phyllis Kandie the Cabinet Secretary of Labour, others included Adan Mohamed (Industrialisation), Dan Kazungu (Mining), Raychelle Omamo (Defence), Jacob Kaimenyi (Land and Housing), James Macharia (Roads) ,Willy Bett (Agriculture), Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, Eugene Wamalwa, Fred Matiang’i and Sicily Kariuki were Cabinet Secretaries also in attendance.
As expected the COTU-K Secretary General in his speech tackled a number of issues ranging from the welfare of the Kenyan workers where he asked the government to desist from interfering with the running of the NSSF and the NHIF funds. He further advocated for the improvement of the salaries and welfare of Kenyans working in the security agencies.
During his address, he strongly reprimanded the employers bodies; Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa), for wrongly advising the government not to increase the minimum wage for workers. Bro. Atwoli said that it was dishonest and an act of insincerity on the part of the employers to insisting on paying workers based on productivity when there were no known or developed metrics and parameters to scientifically measure it. He pointed out that only South Africa had made attempts of establishing a Productivity Center in the whole of Africa.
He reiterate that ‘Wage Guideline 2005’ which is a government document that guides salary negotiations only mentions productivity as an additional factor but not the core factors to be considered.
Bro. Atwoli commended the government initiative to revive the the collapsed Pan-Paper Mills and asked that the same is done to other Collapsed mills like KICOMI, RIVATEX etc.
The COTU-K Secretary General Bro. Francis Atwoli also addressed the raging debate on the disbandment of IEBC, he appealed to the Jubilee government to embrace dialogue with the opposition with a view of finding a way to dissolve the commissioners constitute another team that will enjoy the confidence of all Kenyans.
The climax of the Labour Day celebrations was a treat of a lavish luncheon at the prestigious Safaripark Hotel from COTU-K to invited guest.