From the TUC

Back the Kenyan union leader fined for backing his members’ strike for jobs

25 Oct 2012, By

We’re trying something new today, and we really need your help! We want you – along with trade unionists across the globe – to help the Kenyan trade union movement defend their right to strike, by helping to pay the fine and legal costs they incurred doing so. You can make a donation through the Going to Work website if you have a pay-pal account (if you don’t, we’re working on making it possible to donate directly with a credit card.)

A fortnight ago, Kenyan trade union leader Francis Atwoli was fined 500,000 Shillings (that’s about £3,000) because he refused to call off a strike (two years earlier!) defending jobs in the Kenyan tea industry from mechanisation. He was confined to the cells until his union came up with the cash.

The details of the strike – which lasted just two days and was a huge success – as well as the subsequent court case and fine are on the TUC website. The Kenyan trade union movement has already paid that fine, but still needs to pay the legal costs incurred. And finding that sort of money in a country as poor as Kenya is not easy – which is where we come in.

We want to show practical solidarity with the Kenyan unions who took legitimate industrial action in defence of jobs, and with their leader who stood up for them. We want to help pay the union’s costs to demonstrate that an injury to one is an injury to all, and to demonstrate that we will not be intimidated by rich and powerful employers.

Next week, Francis will be at the General Council of the International Trade Union Confederation, meeting in Jordan. We want to make his day by giving him the money to reimburse the union for the fine. It may take us a bit longer to pay off his legal costs, but we really do want that £3,000 as soon as possible!

We know times are hard, and you probably already give to all sorts of good causes when you’ve got the cash. But Kenyan tea workers don’t earn anything like a UK wage, so we’re in a position to help them out. That’s what trade union solidarity is all about – and we want to put that solidarity to work!

10 Responses to Back the Kenyan union leader fined for backing his members’ strike for jobs

  1. BRISSA Didier
    Oct 29th 2012, 3:52 pm

    I support this cause

  2. Susan Gilchrist
    Oct 29th 2012, 4:56 pm

    I offer my support to Francis Atwoli

  3. Winifred Whitehouse
    Oct 29th 2012, 7:06 pm

    I also offer Support

  4. jadot
    Oct 29th 2012, 8:00 pm

    je ne comprends pas l’anglais, sorry

  5. nelly gonzalez
    Oct 29th 2012, 11:07 pm

    me encantaria ayudar pero no tengo ni en que caerme muerta, no tengo trabajo y mi pareja no creo que quiera cooperar, pertenece al grupo de la virgen del puño pero si los apoyare
    enviando la informacion saludos y felicidades por los triunfos

  6. Ruth Boydell
    Oct 30th 2012, 4:49 am

    I support Francis Atwoli, and the right of workers to unionise.

  7. sattar rind
    Oct 30th 2012, 6:06 am

    i support his cause

  8. John-Kevin Barrett
    Oct 30th 2012, 5:38 pm

    I fully support Francis Atwoli to democratically represent and legally lead his fellow trade unionists in seeking to better their lot in the workplace.

  9. Robert Mkwezalamba
    Oct 30th 2012, 5:48 pm

    I greatly feel sorry for the employers and the Government for having gone this far- Today is francis fighting for the peoples jobs and tommorrow they will cry for the same interventions with the globalisation and economic crisis we have- Government should have persuaded the applicants to withdraw the case as it is a redicule to the kenyan Government given the contributions atwoli has made to kenyas growth- it really doesnt make sense- A strike supported by over 10 000 workers and you blame one person? Shame!! I wish i could do something- but will fidna a way of making my contributions to this cause- i am with you francis and God is behind you- be strong- the battle is WON!!

  10. Vi Carr
    Nov 5th 2012, 8:06 pm

    Please support your fellow Trade Unionist