Central Organization of Trade Unions (Kenya)

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) is a national trade union center in Kenya. It was founded in 1965 upon the dissolution on the Kenya Federation of Labour and the African Workers' Congress. It currently closely liaises with Non Governmental Organizations of East Africa Trade Union (NGOEATU).

Central Organization of Trade Unions
COTU logo.png
HeadquartersNairobi, Kenya
approx 1,500,000 [1]
Key people
Rajabu W. Mwondi, chairman
Francis Atwoli, secretary general

Non Governmental Organizations of East Africa Trade Union (NGOEATU) Is the umbrella organization which represents the interests of all the employees working in the NGO world in East Africa. This Union was formed in 2013 the main idea being that NGO workers have different needs from those of the government and the private sector workers who are represented under COTU. However, there were problems with the established Trade Unions which saw this as an affront for a main catchment area for members. To curtail this problem and ensure that the employees of various international bodies adhere to their principles, the various organizations led by the Senior Staff working under United Nations in Gigiri, AMREF International, Larry Page Poverty Eradication Program (LPPEP), Red Cross, Transparency International among others met on May 8, 2013 and agreed on a number of issues. One the issues agreed upon was that for one to be employed by these NGOs, he/ she ought to be already registered with NGOEATU. The registration fee is pegged at $20 which is roughly Ksh 2000. Currently, the officials of NGOEATU are: 1. Cleophas Ochieng -Chairman 2. Andrew Kirwa - Secretary General 3. Charles Mutisya- Vice Chairman 4. Kirimi Marete -Organizing Secretary, Dr. Maurice Mugendi Kaburu, Treasurer among others. NGOEATU is currently headquartered at Larry Page Poverty Eradication Program (LPPEP) offices in Westlands, Nairobi-Kenya. As of present, the only Kenyan Trade Union which is not allied to COTU is the Non Governmental Organizations Trade Union (NGOEATU). This has been occasioned by the fact that terms of service for civil servants who form the bulk of COTU membership are different from those which most NGO employees adhere to, for instance short term contracts. Unlike, most trade unions, for one to be employed in majority of International NGOs in Kenya he/ she must already be a registered NGOEATU member. However, these NGOs usually facilitate the registration process through their Managing Directors once prospective workers have sent registration fee and refund their employees once in active employment.

Affiliated unionsEdit

  • Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers
  • Kenya Petroleum Oil Workers Union
  • Bakery, Confectionery Manufacturing and Allied Workers Union (K) (BACOFOMAWU,K)
  • Kenya Building, Construction, Timber, Furniture & Allied Trades Employees Union
  • Kenya Chemical & Allied Workers Union
  • Kenya Engineering Workers Union
  • Kenya Game Hunting and Safari Workers Union
  • Kenya Union of Printing, Publishing, Paper Manufacturing & Allied Workers
  • Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union
  • Kenya Scientific, Research, International, Technical & Allied Institutions
  • Banking Insurance & Finance Union (K)
  • Communications Workers Union (K)
  • Railway Workers Union (K)
  • Tailors & Textiles Workers Union
  • Transport & Allied Workers Union
  • Kenya Union of Entertainment & Music Industry Employees
  • Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals & Allied Workers
  • Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation Workers
  • Kenya County Government Workers Union
  • Seaferers Workers Union
  • Kenya Quarry & Mine Workers Union
  • Kenya Electrical Trades Allied Workers Union
  • Kenya Shoe & Leather Workers Union
  • Kenya Jockey, Betting Workers Union
  • Union of National, Research Institutes Staff of Kenya (UNRISK)
  • Kenya National Private Security Workers Union
  • Kenya Hotels & Allied Workers Union
  • Kenya Union of Commercial, Food & Allied Workers
  • Kenya Aviation and Allied Workers Union
  • Kenya Union of Journalists
  • Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers Union
  • Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET)
  • Kenya Union of Special Needs
  • Kenya Union of Hair and Beauty Salon Workers (KUHABSWO)
  • Kenya National Union of Nurses
  • Kenya Glass Workers Union
  • Kenya Aviation Workers Union
  • Kenya Airline Pilots Association
  • National Union of Water & Sewerage
  • Kenya Union of Pre-Primary Education Teachers (KUNOPPET)[2]


  1. ^ http://www.cotu-kenya.org "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-10. Retrieved 2009-05-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ AFFILIATES - COTU Kenya http://cotukenya.org/affiliates/. Retrieved 27 May 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • ICTUR; et al., eds. (2005). Trade Unions of the World (6th ed.). London, UK: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 0-9543811-5-7.

External linksEdit