COTU threatens to call for countrywide workers’ strike

By Judith Akolo

The Central Organization of Trade Unions – COTU will om Monday move to court to block the implementation of a gazette notice that revoked the appointments of its Secretary General Francis Atwoli and the Federation of Kenya Employers Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo as members of the NSSF Board of Trustees.

The workers umbrella Union has also threatened to call a nationwide strike on August 4th if Labour Minister Kazungu Kambi fails to revoke the notice and reinstate the two to the multi-billion shillings servants’ pension fund board.

COTU has instituted both legal means and a constitutional provision that allows for picketing to push the Kambi to revoke a gazette notice that retired the appointments of the COTU representative to the NSSF Board.

At a meeting bringing together all the shop stewards from COTU affiliate unions and their secretaries general, the 42 member strong umbrella union threatened to call a national strike to pressurize the cabinet secretary to respect the role of the labour movement in the country.

COTU affiliate unions have demanded reforms at the NSSF before allowing their members to effect the increased 6% contributions to the pension Fund.

They further claimed that the fight in NSSF is over the control of its  assets that run into over 160 billion shillings which they said could be the targets of unscrupulous individuals out to fleece the pension fund.

Kazungu is said to have relied on the new NSSF Act which came into effect this year that stipulates that members can only serve on the board of NSSF for two terms of three years to kick out the two, who he claimed had overstayed beyond the limit.

A matter that the FKE is now seeking an interpretation by the Attorney General, Prof. Githu Muigai