Tea Growers fault Cotu’s Francis Atwoli over strike call for tea workers
Tea growers are urging their workers not to down their tools after the general election as called for by Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli.
In a press statement to newsrooms, Kenya Tea Growers Association faulted Mr. Atwoli for misdirecting the workers despite a court order.
“KTGA’s attention has been drawn to statements made by COTU Secretary General and the General Secretary of the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) Mr. Francis Atwoli on 29th July 2017 at the Tom Mboya College to the effect that workers in the tea industry will proceed on strike after the August 8th elections if the CBA for 2014/2015 is not implemented, any court order to the contrary notwithstanding,” reads the statement in part.
The tea growers said “there is a pending appeal CA 207 of 2017 Kenya Tea Growers Association vs Kenya Plantation Agricultural Workers Union in respect of the Judgment delivered on 20th June 2016 awarding inter alia a 30% wage increase for the 2014/2015 CBA. In addition, the Court of Appeal on 7th October 2016 granted a stay of execution of the said Judgment. The proposed strike will thus be an outright and flagrant breach of the court order of 7th October 2016 issued by the Court of Appeal. In addition, it is KTGA’s opinion that the Secretary General’s comments are an abuse of court process and in contravention of the sub judice rule.”
“Workers in KTGA member estates are urged to maintain industrial peace and not take part in any unprotected strike as parties await the resolution of the pending court matters. KTGA also appeals to the Government and its appropriate agencies to take note of the threats and endeavor to secure the lives and properties of its citizenry and investors in the unlikely event that workers take the law into their hands and engage in the illegal and unlawful strike.”
Nurses and doctors have paralysed operations in public hospitals and Cotu’s call will only worsen the situation.