There are no plans to convert COTU to a political party, says Atwoli
16 April 2015, 11:38
Nairobi - There are no plans to convert Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) into a political outfit, the union boss Francis Atwoli has said.
Early this week, a local daily carried a story attributed to the Cotu boss which alleged that he will turn the giant trade union into a political party if the government fails to raise workers' minimum wage on Labour Day.
In a press statement, Atwoli distanced himself from the media report noting that it was both erroneous and misleading.
"We want to state it clearly that Cotu is a trade movement for Kenyan workers and not for mainstream politics. The cardinal and sole purpose of our existence is to agitate for the welfare of the workers," he said.
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He dismissed reports that during a fundraiser for Export Processing Zone workers in Changamwe on Sunday, he insinuated that he was going to form a political party.
"Both the Labour laws and international laws (ILO conventions) cannot allow any trade union movement to convert itself into a political outfit. I only stated that if President Kenyatta doesn't need the support of workers, I will ask them not to support the head of state when he seeks re-election," said Atwoli.
He further added: "Our position as COTU is that we are only ready to work with like-minded leaders who are ready to work with and listen to the workers. If it comes to politics, we can only advise our members who are registered Kenyan citizens to take a favourable and formidable political dimension."
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