Cotu sounds warning to Labour CS

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Assistant Secretary Ernest Nadome (centre) flanked by Rose Omamo (left) with other delegates during the press briefing. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]
A giant workers’ union has sounded an alarm over its exclusion from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) board of trustees alleging that a grand-corruption scandal is in the offing.

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) warned the Ministry of Labour against excluding social partners as per international labour laws after a gazette notice last week failed to include Cotu representative Damaris Muhika to the NSSF board of trustees.

Cotu is supposed to have two representatives at the NSSF -- Francis Atwoli and Damaris Muhika and said it had made countless appeals to Labour CS Ukur Yattani since March to gazette Muhika as her term was still extendable.

“Mega corruption is in the offing as the government wants to do away with representation of workers at NSSF,” said Cotu first assistant secretary general Ernest Nadome.

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“The role of the government is just to own that money in trust when it comes to oversight to managing those funds that particular responsibility should rest on workers and employers representatives,” said Nadome.

Cotu Secretary general Francis Atwoli had in April warned that Cotu would call for a mass withdrawal of workers and employers from NSSF should its representatives and those of the Federation of Keny Employers (FKE) be kicked out of the board.

This is after MPs proposed amendments to the NSSF Act 2013.

Nadome said that such a similar thing was being pushed at the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and blamed a group of rogue MPs who were making amendments to bills.

“We want the government to zero in on rogue mps now working on crafting these bills to serve their own interests,” he said.

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He urged the CS to call partners for social dialogue.

“High time Yattani calls the social partners you cannot manage industrial relations without social dialogue,” he said.

 “As Kenyans workers at whatever cost we are not going to accept the exclusion from these bodies,” he said.

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