PRESS RELEASE: DECISION BY TSC TO WITHHOLD TRADE UNION DUES
The Central Organisation of Trade Unions, COTU (K) is shocked and dismayed at the decision by both the Teachers Service Commission and the Kenya Government to fail to deduct and remit trade unions’ dues to both the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post-Education Primary Teachers (KUPPET) in total contravention of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 87 and 98 as well as our own National Constitution under the Bill of Rights.
It is unheard of that a Constitutional Commission like TSC could stoop such low to engage in such games aimed at destabilizing the two trade unions by withholding membership dues to the unions owing to the recent differences the Commission together with the Government had with the teachers on an issue that was wholly within the two Unions’ jurisdiction to Collectively Bargain for their members failure to which the parties are allowed by law to seek redress in the Courts.
It is not only illogical but equally illegal and unconstitutional for the TSC and the Government to try to intimidate both KNUT and KUPPET through such actions. The Promulgation of our new National Constitution in 2010 strengthened the two International ILO Conventions 87 and 98 as cited in the preamble to our Constitution that any International Law ratified by the Kenya Government form part of our Laws and the Bill of Rights is clear on the right to collectively bargain and any violation of the same will not go unchallenged by all means.
COTU (K) is demanding for the immediate,unequivocal and unconditional deduction of all unions’ dues by the TSC and subsequent remittance of the same to both KNUT and KUPPET and failure to do so, COTU (K) as the Umbrella Workers body in the Country and most representative Centre in Kenya will proceed to Court next week on Monday and equally as a member of the ILO Governing Body, I will be making an Official statement at the on-going ILO Governing Body meeting in Geneva, Switzerland against the Kenya Government and TSC for direct interference, intimidation and arm-twisting of the Country’s free and independent National trade unions whereupon one of them, namely KUPPET, is an Affiliate of COTU (K).
Let me take this early opportunity to warn the Kenya Government together with the TSC that playing with the Labour movement in Kenya in the manner now evident is like playing with a fire-arm that can explore on your face any time and the Kenya Government and its agents should desist forthwith from pushing workers of this country to the wall forcing them to be attracted to the opposition since over the year as workers we have never belonged wholly to any Political Party but let the government stop pushing us any further.
The Kenya Workers Love this country and impress upon political stability together with Industrial Relation stability as a young economy bedevilled with Corruption, Poor Infrastructure, Non-recognition of devolution system as well as Non-responsive to the toiling poor! Let the Government take note and stop this impunity against the Kenyan Workers that is now going too far.
Francis Atwoli, EBS,MBS