COTU warns workers against participating in ‘unofficial public holiday’
The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) has expressed concern over the opposition leader Raila Odinga’s call for mass action to protest against the high cost of living.
In a statement released on Saturday, COTU cautioned its members against participating in the planned demonstration, noting that Monday, March 20, 2023, has not been officially declared a public holiday.
“As the umbrella body for workers, we wish to remind workers to secure their jobs by reporting to their workstations,” said Benson Okwaro, the Deputy Secretary-General of COTU.
“We urge workers to refrain from participating in any activities that may jeopardize their employment status.”
The response follows a call by the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party legislators for employers to release their workers to join the mass action.
However, COTU is calling on workers to prioritize their employment status and to refrain from participating in any activities that may jeopardize their jobs.
“We appeal to both parties to engage in active dialogue and find a long-lasting solution that will promote economic development in the country,” read the statement in part.
COTU is also urging the government to prioritize workers’ welfare by promoting social protection and creating a peaceful business environment that promotes economic growth.
The labour organization is urging all parties to exercise restraint and engage in peaceful dialogue to find a solution to the current economic challenges facing the country.
COTU’s cautionary statement comes amidst a backdrop of a heightened political environment in the country.
The opposition chief Raila Odinga declared Monday a “public holiday,” although only the Interior Cabinet Secretary has the authority to declare a public holiday, according to the law.
National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi called on employers to release their employees to participate in the mass action.