Monday, September 18, 2023 – The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has accused senior editors at Nation Media Group’s Daily Nation of blackmail following a story that narrated an alleged collapse of trade unions in the country after he abandoned Raila Odinga’s Azimio and workers to join President William Ruto’s government.
In a statement, without providing evidence, Atwoli claimed the media editors were resorting to publishing stories that paint organizations in a bad light as part of a blackmail scheme.
Atwoli, through COTU, has written to the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and the Kenya Editors Guild to take action against the media house.
Atwoli’s reactions follow the publishing of a story titled “Death of Trade Unions” as a lead for Monday with the vocal trade unionist’s image plastered alongside the headline accusing trade unions of abandoning Kenyan workers.
The story accused trade unions of losing their spark despite wielding enormous power with their sizeable constituency, countrywide structures, and potential to mobilize members on social or political matters.
The publication pointed out the dropping numbers of workers attending Labour Day as part of the union’s waning influence.
According to the paper, the 2023 Labour Day celebrations recorded the lowest turnout in history with many workers remaining indoors, a sign of a vote of no confidence in Atwoli.
According to Atwoli, the headline was misleading and, part of a broader trend of irresponsible and reckless journalism in Kenya.
The Kenyan DAILY POST.