Editor's Review

“Without a doubt, the path Fazul has taken can only come to a tragic end." 

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has weighed in on the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PRSA) move to direct all private security firms to stop the deductions and remittances of security guards’ monthly trade union fee contributions to COTU. 

In a statement on Tuesday, April 16, Atwoli said the directive by PRSA CEO Fazul Mohamed did not come as a surprise to COTU.

“The Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU (K) takes note of the frivolous letter by the disillusioned Private Security Regulatory Authority CEO, Fazul Mahamed, which purported to call for immediate cession deduction and remittance of Union dues, from Private Security Workers to COTU (K). The letter from Fazul Mahamed does not come as a surprise to COTU (K),” read the statement in part.

Atwoli noted that COTU is not regulated by any government agency saying that the demands by PRSA can only be made by the union members or the respective union.

“Without a doubt, the path Fazul has taken can only come to a tragic end following his Hyena-like Dilemma. It must be remembered that COTU (K) is a free and Independent Trade Union that is neither regulated by PSRA nor any other Government Agency,” Atwoli stated. 

File image of PRSA CEO Fazul Mahamed with G4S security firm personnel.

The COTU boss pointed out that the union dues COTU receives from Private Security Workers is as a consequence of a Gazette Notice by the Ministry of Labour, dated 2nd September 2016.

“It must also be remembered that COTU (K) Secretary General, Dr. Francis Atwoli, has been the leading champion of the rights and welfare of Private Security Workers in Kenya which has seen the KNPSWU not only formed but also represented in the COTU (K) Executive Board,” Atwoli added.

Fazul on Monday said private security companies have for years deducted trade union fees from private security guards and subsequently remitted contributions to COTU but the union has not lived up to its mandate of fighting for their social and economic welfare.

“All private security companies are hereby directed to effective immediately stop deducting and remitting private security officers' trade union fees to the Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU - Kenya. This directive shall remain in force until such a time the Authority expressly directs otherwise,” Fazul ordered.

He warned that private security companies that continue to deduct and remit the said fees to COTU would be subjected to a statutory review of its registration and licensing status.

The PRSA boss further mentioned that the authority is conducting investigations against COTU.