Kambi warns workers affiliated to COTU against strike

Labour Cabinet Secretary Kambi Kazungu

Labour Cabinet Secretary Kambi Kazungu has warned all workers affiliated to the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) against downing their tools come August 4th as directed by the leadership of the giant union.

In issuing the warning, Kazungu said workers can only resort to industrial action if the available constitutional channels have been exhausted.

COTU is pushing for the reinstatement of its boss Francis Atwoli to the NSSF Board of Trustees, failure to which it says it will call for a nationwide strike.

Atwoli and the Federation of Kenya Employers Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo have since been reinstated by the Industrial Court, albeit temporarily. The temporary reprieve notwithstanding, Kazungu has termed COTU’s strike notice ill-timed.

The CS who has been at crossroads with Atwoli for quite some time now, says there are many avenues for the workers to channel their grievances, adding that strike threats can only be used as a weapon of last resort.

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

Elsewhere, over 500,000 elderly persons countrywide are set to benefit from the government’s Older Persons Cash Transfer programme this year. Under the programme that was launched by Labor Cabinet Secretary Kambi Kazungu, each beneficiary will be paid a stipend of 2, 000 shillings per month, backdated from February to June this year.

Since its inception in 2007, the older persons cash transfer programme has benefited over 164,000 people countrywide, with a total of 500,000 elderly persons expected to benefit this year.

In the meantime, the General Assembly of International Conference on Great Lakes Region Summit is underway in Nairobi.

Kambi speaking while launching the conference hinted that the government is currently holding negotiation of bilateral labor agreements with other countries to ensure fair labor conditions are adhered to.