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Trade unions' spat continues

08 April 2014, 10:20

Nairobi - The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General, Francis Atwoli, said his organisation did not recognize the existence of the Federation of the Public Service Trade Unions (PUSETU) as a centre for trade unions in the country.

According to the COTU executive, the rival union did not have an office or a membership.

“We cannot sit and formalize an illegality by sitting with PUSETU,” said Atwol after PUSETU had earlier called on COTU to partner in the organization of Labor Day celebrations.

Atwoli, while responding to calls by the Ministry of Labor to have the two umbrella unions sit and agree, said that PUSETU did not have a membership from the broader workforce except membership drawn from the union of teachers and the Universities’ Academic Staff Union (UASU), which are all members of COTU.

Atwoli said that the two unions had not written to revoke affiliation to COTU and as such were still considered as members to COTU.

Dr. Charles Mukhwaya,  the Secretary General of both the UASU and PUSETU stated last Thursday that COTU’s membership was only 160 000 but Atwoli has refuted the claim saying that its membership stands at 1.6 million.

However, government places its membership at 1.3 million.

Atwoli said that the rival union  used questionable means by accessing one of the three COTU’s bank accounts which caters for membership fees of its 160 000 members.

Atwoli linked the emergence of PUSETU as a government ploy to finish COTU after he had blown the whistle over the Tassia II scandal which involved misappropriation of Sh 5 billion from workers’ funds.

 – CAJ News

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