Atwoli pushes for police officers' union - Daily Nation

Atwoli pushes for creation of union to champion police officers’ rights

Friday May 1 2009

COTU secretary General Francis Atwoli . Photo/FILE

COTU secretary General Francis Atwoli . Photo/FILE 

By LUCAS BARASA

A campaign has been launched for members of Kenya'a disciplined forces to be allowed to form a union to champion their rights.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary-general Francis Atwoli said prison officers, regular and Administration Police officers were unfairly attacked by the public but do not have a voice to give their side of the story.

“They are forced to direct their frustrations on innocent Kenyans,” said Mr Atwoli during Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park on Friday amid applause from workers.

Just like in developed countries such as Sweden, said Mr Atwoli, the government should register a Police Trade Union “to protect the rights of the force and collectively bargain for the improvement of their standard of living”.

The union should, however, be established with a condition that police cannot go on strike, he added.

Mr Atwoli demanded that Coca Cola Stadium revert to its former name, Nyayo, so that it remains a national monument and “heritage for promoting our culture and sports”.

Privatisation of profit-making government institutions should be discouraged, he added.

Mr Atwoli called for government involvement in public transport, saying leaving it in the hands of individuals “will sooner or later paralyse the economy of our country”. The state, he said, should take over Kenya Railways management.

The secretary-general revisited his attacks on Nakumatt Supermarket, saying it was not adhering to labour laws.

He said no Nakumatt official had since recorded a statement with the police following the fire that claimed lives at its Downtown branch in Nairobi three months ago.

The Cotu official asked the government to resuscitate Webuye’s Pan Paper Mills as what had been done with other companies to save “30,000” jobs.

The secretary-general said some 50,000 jobs had been lost and another 30,000 were threatened due to use of tea-plucking machines on farms in the country, adding that the equipment should be banned.

He also spoke against dumping of goods such as leather and textile products and batteries in the country.

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