ATWOLI throws doctors under the bus just to please RUTO during Labour Day – Look! This guy is a big letdown to workers

Thursday May 2, 2024 - Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli threw striking doctors under the bus during the 59th Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens yesterday.

This is after he supported President William Ruto’s move not to meet the doctors’ salary demands.

In his speech, Atwoli expressed COTU’s inability to advocate for striking medics, claiming the president has rendered them ‘impotent’.

"As I stand here, we believe that an injury to one is an injury to all. 

"On March 6, you managed us when you announced that the government does not have money. 

"You rendered COTU, the Ministry of Health, and the committee that you sent to resolve the matter impotent, because when you take over disputes, we cannot contradict you,” Atwoli stated, proving that the influence of the once powerful trade union has diminished.

According to Atwoli, only Ruto holds the key to resolving the healthcare sector's issues, acknowledging the challenge of contradicting the Commander in Chief.  

“We have no leeway to contradict the Head of State. 

"Even as we try to look for ways to reach you and have a dialogue, we know in every situation, you have an answer. 

"And on this one, we leave it in your hands, praying that with your wisdom and that of your advisors, you will have an answer for us,” said Atwoli.

These remarks come in the back of a prolonged healthcare workers' strike, now in its second month, causing disruptions in public hospitals and driving citizens to seek healthcare in private facilities.

Despite government warnings and failed negotiations with the Ministry of Health, doctors and clinical officers insist they will only return to work upon meeting their demands.

In mediating disputes between trade unions and employees, COTU typically steps in to facilitate negotiations.

COTU assists in negotiation strategies and represents workers during the collective bargaining process, often leading to successful resolutions and the end of strikes.


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  1. Workers still holding to COTU to champion for their welfare are day-dreaming. COTU died long time ago. COTU as an entity existed in the times of the late Juma Boy, Lubembe, Fred Omido, et al