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

Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion with Cotu's Francis Atwoli on Thursday, January 24, 2019. /COURTESY
Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion with Cotu's Francis Atwoli on Thursday, January 24, 2019. /COURTESY

The Kenya National Union of Teachers has officially joined Cotu.

The decision was arrived at during Knut's

61st Annual Delegates Conference held last year, secretary general Wilson Sossion said.

The move will unite all workers in the country, he said.

"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 was a founder member of Cotu in 1965 but left in 1966.​

In 2014, Trade Union Congress (TUC-Ke) was launched.

Sossion was among the brains behind it.

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, .


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


"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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