The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has joined the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) led by Francis Atwoli.
According to Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion, the unity will improve the welfare of all workers.
“We are joining to improve all the economic and social conditions of all workers, to encourage the principle of good relations between employees and their employers.
Knut was a founder member of Cotu but it was forced out of the trade union in 1966. The teachers union then joined the Trade Union Congress, Kenya (TUC-Ke), following its launch in 2014. However, in 2018, Wilson Sossion, who had been one of the founders pulled KNUT out of TUC allegedly over differences in labour issues.
Sossion has however maintained that the decision to join COTU was not out of coercion saying the decision to join Cotu was arrived at during Knut’s 61st Annual Delegates Conference held last year.
“We have come here not out of duress by anybody but we have decided freely and willfully as an organization that it is time to team up with all workers in Kenya,” he said.
COTU/KNUT MERGER HISTORIC- ATWOLI
“It is also going to be history on my part that KNUT is reaffiliating with Cotu when I am the Secretary-General,” said Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli.
Atwoli said the merger will make Cotu one of the strongest labour parties in the world.
“Cotu currently enjoys total membership of 2.9 million members in the country, with Knut on board raising the membership to over 3 million.
Knut’s entry in Cotu makes the trade union the biggest in East and Central Africa region and the second largest in the continent after Nigerian Labour Congress, which reportedly has 5 million members.
“With our unity, we will not beg but demand for worker’s rights,” Atwoli said.