Unions face off over Labour day fete plans


Kenya: Central Organisation of Trade Union (Cotu) and the Public Service Trade Union (Pusetu) are planning separate Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park as the battle for supremacy ranges on.

Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli said the union the Nairobi county government gave them the green light to continue with preparations to host Labour Day Celebrations at the park in February.

 “We are aware of plans to disrupt the celebrations and we are telling those behind the plans to just try. Our security details together with the police will be on the ground to deal with them accordingly,” said Atwoli.

Atwoli refuted claims of a joint hosting with Pusetu, saying Labour Cabinet secretary Kambi Kazungu is backing Cotu to host the fete.

However, Pusetu chairman Tom Odege accused Cotu of playing petty politics at the expense of workers.

“We are not planning any violence during the celebrations. Since we will both be celebrating Labour Day at the same venue, it is only logical that we hold a combined ceremony for the benefit of our members,” said Odege.

Odege refuted claims that Kazungu had backed Cotu to host the ceremony.