Labour day 2019 left many Kenyans bitter as the government did not announce an increase in minimum or general wages as many expected. In attendance was Francis Atwoli, Secretary-General of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) among other distinguished guests.
Cabinet Secretary for Labour Ukur Yattani while addressing the public noted that negotiations on the salary increment were ongoing an a major announcement will be made “soon” noting that the ministry had put in place mechanisms to end Kenya’s rampant cases of industrial action.
“Strikes have continued to deny Kenyans essential services, inflicting immeasurable suffering and inconveniences, not to mention the negative image they portray of the country as a shaky investment destination,” he said.
During the celebration in his speech as expected, the 69 years old COTU Boss took his time to scrutinize the political landscape in Kenya, while throwing shade at a few politicians, and not mentioning much about the welfare of the labourers. Later in the day, he launched his first book to the world, in a lowkey event that was attended by just a handful of prominent people.
Speaking during the launch of his Biography titled Fame, Force, Fury at The Stanley Hotel that seeks to narrate his journey as a global Trade Unionist, Atwoli promised to relentlessly fight the war against corruption on behalf of workers. In attendance were Seme MP James Nyikal and Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange.
— COTU Kenya (@cotukeofficial) May 1, 2019
Sharing the good news on COTU Kenya’s official Twitter handle, Kenyans were encouraged to buy the book and read it to understand deeply who this Man Atwoli is. But Kenyans on Twitter bashed him for using the platform for his personal business instead of addressing issues on medical covers, commuting schemes, poor living conditions in the slum and the need for workers to get more benefits other than a mere pay rise.
Aint your mama’s !
Kindly note that COTU is a Trade Union. Not a personal property or platform.. Please inform workers what you are doing as an organisation to safeguard workers' welfare. Acheni ufala! Hicho kitabu akasome na wajukuu wake retirement…
— Kiplagat (@BarryLimoh) May 1, 2019
So he wants us to read about this? pic.twitter.com/evPhtszFk4
— Oduor Achola (@oduor_achola) May 1, 2019
We totally agree.
Celebrated on socioeconomic gains of the Workers not a campaign propaganda forum. #tellAtwoli
— mzee (@gyncksywyncksy) May 1, 2019
Maybe good idea but in the wrong forum
— Andrew Makokha Tumbu (@makokhamunika) May 1, 2019