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Cotu sounds warning to govt over fuel price hike

This is the fifth month in a row that the industry regulator has raised the cost of fuel. FILE PHOTO | NMG
This is the fifth month in a row that the industry regulator has raised the cost of fuel. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) has threatened labour unrest if the government does not intervene to put a stop to what it terms as 'perpetual increase in oil prices' that forces workers to dig deeper into their pockets for fuel.

The move follows an upward adjustment of fuel prices by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) over the weekend with super petrol now set to cost Sh106.30 per litre, Sh94.82 for diesel and Sh74.78 a litre for kerosene in Nairobi.

"We demand immediate intervention from the government more so the Ministry of Energy...Failure by the government to cushion workers against these increases, then let it prepare for direct confrontation from workers in demand for pay increases from the entire labour fraternity," a statement from the workers' lobby says.

This is the fifth month in a row that the industry regulator has raised the cost of fuel, which is one of key indices used to compute month-on-month inflation.

The move also signals higher household bills in January, especially in poorer homes where kerosene is the main source of fuel for cooking and lighting.

Cotu, through its secretary general Francis Atwoli, says the price increase will erode consumers' purchasing power.

The organisation has challenged the government to remedy the situation or face union demands for higher wages for its workers, leading to confrontation and labour unrest.

"Cotu wishes to remind Jubilee government of its campaign promises to Kenya for affordable energy, housing, free primary and secondary education and control of commodity prices."

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