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Knut joins Cotu, Sossion says union will secure teachers’ rights



The Kenya National Union of Teachers has officially joined Cotu.

The move will unite all workers in the country, Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion said on Thursday.

“We are here to endeavour to champion for a sustainable work environment. Since Knut has not had an ideal labour centre for years where it can push for labour rights, the union will use the ready support of Cotu,” he said.

“We are here to improve the welfare of workers through dialogue and nobody should fear or debate why we have come together.”

Knut pulled out of Trade Union Congress (TUC-Ke) in August 2018 following differences in labour issues.

Knut had hosted the congress on its premises since 2014 and threatened to slap it with rent arrears.

TUC-Ke had earlier raised concerns about Sossion’s close association with Cotu and had written a show cause letter in April 2018.

Sossion, who was the TUC-Ke boss, was suspended in August 2018.

Read: Sossion laughs off suspension by Mukhwaya

TUC-Ke was launched in 2014 and Sossion was among the brains behind it.

The government’s support for the congress was seen as a way to weaken the monopoly of Cotu and relinquish control it had to billions of shillings contributed by workers.

On Thursday, Sossion said Knut has to secure the rights of workers freely without duress.

“We have not had any pressure from anyone and we owe nobody an apology and if somebody is not happy, look for a swimming pool and dive into it,” he said.

“We are here to stay forever and ever.”

He said trade unions are a major component of the system of modern industrial relations in any nation.

“Each having their own set of objectives or goals according to their constitutional constitutions and having its own strategy to achieve goals,” he said.

Sossion said the members of the labour unions should try their best to stem any threat of rivalry in labour unions.

“We have come willfully here to speak on behalf of the workers and we are here to strengthen the spirit of labour unions in 2019,” he said.

He said after the partnership, the unions will continue pushing for the workers’ agenda with more vigour.

“Now that the union has combined forces, the teachers and workers should expect more. This is a matter that was extensively discussed within the framework of Knut across the organs,” he said.

“Coming together will earn us respect at the international level and we are here to built solidarity and networks.. the government should not fear us.”

Noting that the enemy of a worker is not a worker, Sossion said the government should openly and honestly work with them through the journey.

“The enemy of the worker is the owner of the capital, the employer, the government and that is why we resolve issues through engagements,” he said.

We did not know that one day we will come to this….. the enemy of a worker is not the worker, it is the employer.”

Sossion thanked Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli for bringing workers together.

“There have been meetings and out of those meetings we realised we must not put conditions for ourselves,” he added.

“Watch this space as we move forward. We also see political systems coming together, then workers must come together so that there is economic balance.”

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