Francis Atwoli has been re-elected Vice President of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
He is the Secretary General of the Central Union of Trade Unions in Kenya (COTU)
Atwoli’s name was proposed on the floor of the over 2000 delegates attending the ongoing 5th Congress in Melbourne, Australia and unanimously approved hence granting him another four-year term in the leadership of the ITUC.
The ITUC remains the largest trade union organization in the world with a membership of over 200M drawn from 163 Countries and has its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Earlier on during the ongoing congress, the Kenyan trade unionist was elected, unopposed, to the Seven-Member Credentials Committee.
The Credentials Committee is an important Committee, within the architecture of the ITUC, that determines who qualifies as a delegate of the ITUC to participate in the elections of the ITUC.
It also reports on the composition of the various delegations per country as well as the extent of their individual voting power.
Another title was added to his many leadership positions after he was elected, unopposed, as a titular member of the General Council of the ITUC to represent the Eastern Africa Region.
He clinched the position after he was proposed by a delegate from Tanzania and seconded unopposed by his colleagues in the region including by trade union leaders from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Mauritius among others.
Others elected during the hotly contested ITUC elections were the new Confederation’s General Secretary Luca Vasentini from Italy who garnered a total of 65M votes beating his main challenger Kemal Ozkan from Turkey who got 23M votes represented by the 2000 plus delegates who attended the Congress.
In his acceptance speech to the Congress, Atwoli recognized and appreciated the ‘huge’ confidence that his trade union colleagues worldwide continue to have in him to serve them adding that… “the position you have just bestowed on me this morning isn’t an easy one, you are sending me to war, to fight for working men and women wherever they are in the world, am only your soldier whose actions will always come from you, the commanders, and I will never let you down, I will stand for your interests and put up my life for you always…”
Atwoli further assured the new General Secretary of the support from COTU (K) in ensuring he delivers on his vision.
He welcomed the General Secretary to Kenya as COTU (K) looks forward to hosting the Congress of ITUC-Africa which will bring over 1000 delegates from Africa and beyond.
In the same breath, he thanked Sharan Burrow, the outgoing ITUC General Secretary, for her dedication to strengthening the trade union movement in Africa during her tenure.
The 5th Congress of the ITUC started on Thursday, 17th November 2022 and Thursday morning, Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese addressed the delegates reiterating that governments world over have every obligation to respect the important role trade unions continue to play and should support workers’ calls for ratification of various International Labour Organization, ILO Conventions to better terms and conditions of work for workers.
Atwoli also serves as a member of the ILO Governing Body (Geneva) and President of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, OATUU, with headquarters in Accra, Ghana,
The Congress closes later Tuesday, 22nd, 2022.
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