Francis Atwoli, the secretary general of COTU, has criticized the media for a story that claimed trade unions were dying as modern governments took center stage.
Atwoli expressed his disapproval of the Daily Nation’s findings detailing how weak once-powerful unions have grown in recent years in a statement on Monday.
Nation’s research outlined how the aforementioned unions went from fighting for workers’ rights to being impotent and sleeping with ruling governments, and even how trade unionists joined the political class rather than supporting workers.
“As COTU (K) we are calling upon the Media Council of Kenya and the Kenya Editor Guild to reign in on the rogue senior newspaper editors who continue blackmailing organizations and individuals through misleading stories that sell terror and fear when their demands are not met,” Atwoli said.
“With a membership of over Four Million workers, COTU (K) is the Second largest trade union in Africa and consequently continues effectively representing workers locally and internationally. We firmly believe in the principles of social dialogue, tripartism, and peaceful conflict resolution. We recognize that our role as a responsible trade union is to engage constructively with the government, employers, and other key players to advance the rights and interests of workers,” he added.
Atwoli also urged group efforts to improve worker welfare in order to lessen the difficult economic circumstances that Kenyans are facing.
“We advocate for tripartite consultations and meaningful negotiations as the preferred avenues for addressing workers’ concerns, rather than resorting to strikes and demonstrations that can disrupt the economy and harm our members,” he remarked.