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Atwoli faults FKE over workers’ plight

By | November 27th 2011

By Peter Orengo

Central Organisation of Trade Unions has hit out at the Federation of Kenya Employers, accusing it of being insensitive to workers plight.

In a statement, Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli said the recent workers’ strikes were as a result of years of failure by employers to address the problems of employees in relation to remuneration and working conditions.

Cotu said it was particularly irked by FKE’s use of such derogatory terms such as "knee-jerk salary raises", blaming it for "deliberately locking its doors on workers".

"FKE should stop its reactionary attitude towards workers and the blame game that it is currently engaging in and instead take full responsibility for its inability to engage trade unions and embrace dialogue with a view to averting possible industrial actions," said Atwoli.

He said FKE had refused to attend reconciliatory meetings convened by the Ministry of Labour as an arbiter to disputes between employers and workers.

Atwoli said trade unions and workers will continue to demand what is rightfully theirs through strikes and other avenues as situation demands.

Resort to strikes

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For the last one month, the Government was forced to engage various groups of workers, who staged industrial action to demand better terms of service. They included the Kenya Power company workers, primary and secondary school teachers, public university lecturers and non-teaching staff and nurses. Now doctors have threatened to down their tools next month.

On Sunday, Cotu said strikes are prompted by situations and workers had no option but resort to strikes to get employers to act.

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