Atwoli Defends Sossion

    Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli and Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion at a past event.

    Even as the court deregistered Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion, the leadership of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) has strongly defended him.Mr. Atwoli’s remarks came after the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled to deregister Mr. Sossion from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) register of teachers following his nomination to the Senate.However, the Cotu Secretary-General on Monday argued that this does not contradict any terms of service at the union. He argued that any termination of employment of an elected union official should not affect their terms at the union.
    “We wish to acknowledge that Sossion holds a valid and legitimate position in the Kenya National Union of Teachers,” Mr. Atwoli said.
    He said that Cotu, recognizes Mr. Sossion as the Knut Secretary-general and that, he should be allowed to carry out his responsibilities without interruption by walls of people with misguided interests on trade unions in the country.
    Mr. Sossion who has long been instrumental in championing teachers’ rights while at the helm of Knut, even leading labour strikes that paralyzed teaching operations for weeks on end, was accused by the TSC of violating the terms and conditions of his contract of office.
    TSC had argued that his nomination to the senate contradicts his terms of service as he was appointed to parliament to represent, not the teachers’ interests, but the political party interests.
    But Sossion had also fought back saying he had been nominated to represent the interests of teachers in parliament.
    Essentially, the deregistration of Mr. Sossion from the TSC register will render him as not a teacher and should provide grounds for him to be removed from the helm of Knut, but the contradiction comes about that he was elected by teachers under the Union.

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