COTU urges workers not to take part in mass action

Saturday, March 18th, 2023 16:38 | By
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Secretary General of Central Organization of Trade Unions [COTU] Francis Atwoli addressing Kenyans during 54th anniversary of Central Organization of Trade Unions of Kenya and International Labour day celebrations held at Uhuru Park on May 1, 2019. PHOTO/Courtesy

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) has warned workers against taking part in mass action scheduled for Monday, March 20, 2023.

The union said the demos have been set on a working day and cautioned workers that the day has not been officially declared a public holiday.

“As the umbrella body for workers, we wish to remind workers to secure their jobs by reporting to their workstations," Benson Okwaro, the Deputy Secretary-General of COTU said in a statement released on Saturday.

“We urge workers to refrain from participating in any activities that may jeopardize their employment status,” the statement added.

This follows the latest call by the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition party legislators asking employers to release their workers to join the protest terming it their national duty.

Speaking on Thursday, March 16, the Leader of Minority Opiyo Wandayi said workers, with an exception of journalists, should be allowed to "exercise their national duty" on grounds that Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga declared the day a "national holiday".

"Since Monday has been declared a public holiday, all employers except the media should release their employees and allow them to participate in their national duty. We expect employers will understand," he stated.

COTU is however rallying for a dialogue between the government and the opposition to safeguard the country's economy.

“We appeal to both parties to engage in active dialogue and find a long-lasting solution that will promote economic development in the country,” the statement further read.

Odinga unlawfully declared Monday, March 20 a public holiday while speaking during a political rally on Tuesday, March 14.

"I hereby declare, in the name of Azimio one Kenya Alliance, We declare that Monday, March 20 will be a public holiday.

"We do not want any kind of violence or bloodshed. It is going to be peaceful. We are only doing this because it is the only alternative that we have," Raila stated noting that the protests will be peaceful.

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