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Unilever Tea Kenya says it has no plans to lay off 11,000 workers

Unilever Tea Kenya says it does not have a target for its Voluntary Early Retirement Scheme/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – Unilever Tea Kenya has denied reports that it plans to lay off 11,000 out of the 16,000 workers employed in the company’s plantation.

Unilever East Africa Corporate Affairs Director, Joseph Sunday, says the company’s Voluntary Early Retirement scheme is part of routine business exercise used by companies across Kenya and is no way linked to a massive layoff.

He says the voluntary retirement primarily targets employees close to the retirement age adding that Unilever Tea does not have a specific target number of employees it intends to take up the offer.

“All companies, UTK included, must continuously refresh working practice to continue the innovation that made Kenyan tea a global success story in the first place.  This will ensure we secure employment for the next generation of Kenyan tea workers,” said Sunday.

The company has, however, confirmed some employees have been informed of the eligibility to take part in the exercise but the discretion to grant the request lies with the company which will decide based on the eligibility criteria and the overall number of received applications.

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