The Central Organisation of Trade Unions, COTU (K) together with the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, OATUU as the African Continent umbrella Trade Union movement wish to applaud Mr. Maina Kiai for being the first ever Kenyan to win the coveted George Meany-Khirkland Human Rights Award that is administered by COTU (K)’s counterparts in the USA, the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisation , AFL- CIO.
COTU (K) cherishes the long standing relationship with the AFC-CIO that dates back to over 60 years particularly for playing host to the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity , ACILS, a non- profit organization aligned with AFCL-CIO that COTU (K) has hosted in Nairobi on behalf of the African Continent for over 60 years and equally as COTU (K) Secretary General, I am proud to have gone through any Trade Union Training at the George Meany Centre in the USA.
Indeed the recognition extended to Mr. Kiai who has done exemplary work in defending both basic human rights a well as workers’ and Trade Union rights in Kenya and globally will go along way in extending further this relationship between the American and Kenyan workers.
Particularly, COTU (K) takes cognizant of the citation that the Award singles out Maina for advancing worker and human rights issues and specifically highlighting the widespread denial of fundamental human rights at work and in society in United States and worldwide.
No doubt Kiai has been a true champion of Social justice and related rights to date and even previously at the helm of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, KHRC where he exhibited unrivalled commitment by pin- pointing out all manner of violations that were being meted against Kenyan Politicians that were fighting for the current democratic space and for the second liberation.
Let this Award serve as a model to the young upcoming Kenyans and contributetowards shaping them into standing firm to fight against the rampant corruption in this country that has turned into open theft of our resources at the expense of our loyal tax payers in the country.
Kenya’s Labour Movement stands with AFCL-CIO President Richard Trumka as he officially hands over this Award to Mr. MainaKiai.
Francis Atwoli, NOM (DZA), EBS, MBS
SECRETARY GENERAL- COTU (K) & PRESIDENT OATUU