The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU-K) Secretary Bro. Atwoli led a Shop Stewards and General Secretaries in a meeting that was held at COTU-K Headquarters at Solidarity Building in Nairobi. The highly publicised event that was aired live on National TV was well attended with Shop Stewards coming from all over the country with some coming fro far flung areas like Malindi. As it has always been a tradition all General Secretaries from affiliates who were present were given an opportunity to introduce himself and give brief remarks, this was followed by speeches from COTU-(K) Executive Board Members present and the climax of the meeting a keynote address from the Champion of Social Justice Bro. Francis Atwoli.
Bro. Atwoli candidly tackled many current issue afflicting the labour movement in the current and what COTU was doing to tackle the issues, he particularly gave an account of the difficulties he faced in resolving the doctors strike, noting that the doctors union like many other unions lacked requisite capacities to understand well and negotiate industrial and labour issues. He directed Unions to organize for the training of their Shop Stewards in Labour matters at the Tom Mboya Labour College.
It is noteworthy that in spite of his busy schedule after his speech, Bro. Atwoli had time time to seat down and field question from the shop stewards and he responded personally. The shop stewards brought to his attention many issues that need to be addressed. One of the key emerging issue is the continued outsourcing of services by many companies which is shrinking good employment opportunities and creating very poor working conditions. He also cautioned against interference by Corruption Cartels with running of the workers Social protection funds i.e. NSSF & NHIF, especially now that the country is heading into an electioneering period.
Most of the trade unionists who spoke in the meeting reiterated one message that their support of the current regime is pegged on how it address their welfare issue, notably; increase of minimum wage during the upcoming labour day celebrations at Uhuru park. Shop Stewards were encouraged to mobilize workers to attend in big numbers the upcoming Workers thanks giving Prayer Day to be held on the eve of labour day on 30th of April 2017 at St. Stephens ACK Makadara Church, and most importantly the Labour day celebration to be held on May 1st 2017.