COTU boss Atwoli wants SRC to stop interfering with workers' CBAs

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli in Geneva, Switzerland. [Atwoli, Twitter]

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) is now calling on the International Labour Organization (ILO) to establish policies that will shield workers covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs).

Addressing labour organisations that have convened in Geneva, Switzerland, COTU Secretary-General Francis Atwoli stated that most government institutions have been undermining the ability of workers' and employer's organisations to freely and independently engage in collective bargaining.

"For us, in Kenya, we wish to call upon the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to desist from interfering with processes of collective bargaining agreements and interfering with free and independent Collective Bargaining as enshrined in the ILO Convention 98," Atwoli said in his speech.

According to ILO, only one-third of the global workforce is covered by collective bargaining which translates to a large majority being left out of the representation.

At the same time, the COTU boss called on multinational companies operating in the agricultural sector to dialogue with workers on the transition through technological changes, through skill provision and life-long approaches.

"I also want to encourage employers and particularly multinational enterprises operating in the key economic sectors including the tea sector that employs large numbers of workers to invest more in social dialogue," he added.

During the meeting, Gilbert Houngbo was appointed the Director-General and is expected to steer the activities of the ILO for the next five years.

Atwoli was on Sunday, June 4, unanimously elected as the Vice Chairperson of the Workers' Group of the International Labour Conference which is the highest decision-making body of ILO.