As the country prepares to go to the polls on 4th March, 2013, the Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU (K) advises various political parties together with their leaders who continue to put the trade union movement in the country under pressure for endorsement and subsequent support that Kenya's Labour movement under its Executive Board that met on 26th September, 2012 in Kisumu; a meeting that was followed by the General Secretaries' meeting the following day, unanimously endorsed the decision that COTU (K) as a free and independent labour movement would remain neutral, non-partisan and without commitment to any political party or an individual politician for support.
Further, it must be noted that by the time this decision was made, no single political party had approached COTU (K) with a view to solicit for Kenya's Labour Movement support.
At the same time, the decision was informed that after considering how Kenya's political parties and coalitions are made and registered virtually on daily basis, it was then dangerous for the Labour Movement in Kenya to get committed to any political party since this parties remain largely not cohesive as today we have this party and/or coalition registered for purposes of elections and come the following day the very party and/coalition has disappeared or to say the least, changed alliances into a totally different entity.
Most of these parties' manifestos have no mention of workers nor do they even appreciate the role of workers in their governance structures and this is evident where none of these political parties has sought to nominate workers to parliament as a special interest group despite the same being cleared in our National Constitution.
Therefore, the strong over 1.5 million members of the Labour Movement in Kenya will remain free and independent to choose whoever they wish to lead them out of their own individual choice.
COTU (K) as a pressure group is however prepared to work with any political party, coalition and leader that will emerge as a victor in the forthcoming general elections without dividing its membership on political party lines.
Francis Atwoli, EBS, MBS