President William Ruto wants trade unions to change their approach to labour issues and challenged them to expand their focus from salary increment to creation of more jobs and more savings.
“Let us rally to employ more youth. Your success cannot be measured only through the increase of salaries,” he said. He spoke on Tuesday when he met workers representatives at State House, Nairobi.
They were led by the Secretary General of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) in Kenya Mr. Francis Atwoli, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi among others were present.
The President said labour unions are integral drivers of policy making that contribute to equality and inclusive socio-economic development. “That is why we should routinely engage and partner to create synergy and ease resolution of labour-related issues.”
He pointed out the welfare of workers — particularly those in the Diaspora — and making workplaces safer and more dignified, as some of the areas of cooperation.
Further, the President asked the Unions to work with the Government in the Affordable Housing Project that promises decent homes to millions of ordinary Kenyans.
“We should also work together to actualise the Universal Health Coverage that will ensure all Kenyans access quality and affordable medical care.” Mr Atwoli said time for politics is over. He said COTU will work together with the Government in pushing its development agenda.
“We cannot move forward as a country when we engage in retrogressive politics,” he said. Mr Gachagua said the Government will work with all leaders for unity and development of the country. “Elections should not be an issue to divide the country,” said the Deputy President.
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi noted that politics is over and that “It is time to serve Kenyans.”