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.