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COTU merges with three more unions

05 March 2014, 15:44 Samuel kisika

Nairobi - The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) membership has been boosted after it merged with three trade unions out of seven that had applied for merger.

COTU's Secretary General, Francis Atwoli announced that the trade unions that met the Union's requirements for absorption include the Kenya National Union of Nurses, the Kenya Union of Hair and Beauty Salon Workers, and the Kenya Glass Workers Union.

Atwoli stated that COTU's Executive Board met and voted unanimously for certain resolutions such as drawing their weight behind his opposition to the controversial Tassia II Infrastructure Development Project. He added that the Board agreed to grant him absolute mandate to pursue everything within his mandate to ensure the project is stopped without being cowed by intimidation and treats.
"I offered myself as a trade unionist to fight for workers even if it is to die as long as workers are fairly paid and treated by their cruel employers," said Atwoli.

"The Board is opposed to the implementation of the new National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Act 2013 that seeks to increase both employers and workers contributions to the Fund to 6% until certain demands are met," he added.

Among COTU's demands includes the gazzettement of the Union's nominee to the NSSF's board by the Labor Cabinet Secretary, immediate and urgent amendments of the new NSSF Act's section 11 (2) to accommodate one trustee from the Federation of Kenya Employers and to allow the Union to participate in the NSSF board meetings.

The Union also demands tangible reforms to be witnessed at the Ministry of Labor, Social Security Service's NSSF board and management.

"A team of six lawyers has since been appointed by the Executive Board with firm instructions to move to Court and oppose the implementation of the said new NSSF rates particularly from 1.5 million members," said Atwoli.

Atwoli also said the Union has contracted an actuarial firm to work out a Memorandum of alternative Social Security Fund for the 1.5  million Affiliates' members.

"On May 24, 2014 COTU Governing Council comprising 217 delegates will meet in Kisumu to explore more options after our Court case on whether COTU Affiliates and members can have an alternative and independent Social Security Fund as allowed by the new NSSF Act 2013 Section 21," stated Atwoli.

He further noted that the Union's board faults and detests the recent victimization and subsequent transfer of William Langat, the Registrar of Trade Unions from his office by the Labor Cabinet Secretary, Kazungu Kambi. He added that the Board demands Kambi to be reprimanded for his unlawful action against Langat, a civil servant.  

Atwoli warned that the government's failure to meet COTU's demands will force him to announce to the international trade union's head that the Kenya is discriminative against workers which he said will impact negatively on nation's economic growth.

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