Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli will next week sue multinational tea companies in London for violating a six-month Collective Bargain Agreement.

Atwoli has engaged London-based law firm McKeRon to pursue the ills allegedly committed by the firms against employees in Kenya.

During a stormy meeting held on Sunday at Moi Garden in Kericho, which was attended by top Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union, Atwoli directed the London firm to file the case.

“Six years down the line workers in multinational tea companies have not earned any pay increments despite rulings made by the Industrial Court,” KPAWU lawyer Meshak Khisa said.

While addressing more than 1,000 KPAWU member’s at Moi Garden, Khisa appealed to Chief Justice James Maraga to establish an Industrial Court of Appeal where oppressed workers can find justice.

“As a union, we cannot sit back and watch rulings by the Industrial Court being turned down by the Court of Appeal,” Khisa said.


He said after workers were awarded 30 per cent by the Industrial Court and the Court of Appeal overruled that.

KPAWU deputy secretary general Thomas Kemboi regretted that the tea firms are still practising colonialism 55 years after Kenya attained independence.

“We have no option now but to take the multinational companies to the London court where we think justice will prevail,” Kemboi said.

Organising secretary Henry Omosire told MPs from tea growing areas they will be voted out in the 2022 General Election if they fail to stop the firms from oppressing workers.

He said most of the MPs got overwhelming support from tea pickers and it is time for the leaders to reciprocate.

Omasire said most workers are living miserable lives.

“They are living from hand to mouth because they earn peanuts. They cannot even pay school fees for their children or afford the exorbitant medical fee whenever family members fall sick,” Omasire said.

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