Tuskys stores shut as workers strike over pay

December 19, 2013 9:03 am
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Operations in the chain supermarkets on Thursday remained stalled after workers boycotted their work stations protesting poor pay/XINHUA FILE
Operations in the chain supermarkets on Thursday remained stalled after workers boycotted their work stations protesting poor pay/XINHUA FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – “Work more get less every month,” read a placard outside Tuskys Supermarkets within Nairobi’s Central Business District.

Operations in the chain supermarkets on Thursday remained stalled after workers boycotted their work stations protesting poor pay.

A representative of the workers Samson Omechi said that the management has failed to pay the workers even after the formulation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement on improved salaries.

Omechi accused the management of being iron fisted in their leadership and subjecting the staff to a harsh working environment.

“We want our money; we want our general overtime back. We want to be able to use our phones in the work place; they have reduced this place to a prison.”

“They are working us like slaves here; we work for long hours with less and less pay.”

“People are earning meagre salaries Sh10,000 with a maximum of Sh15,000 yet they make so much money,” explained a protesting Omechi.

He added that they are unwilling to bargain with the management and will only do so after they receive their pay, further accusing the management of being biased.

“There is a lot of nepotism and tribalism here, if they know you and you are one of their own, you earn more unlike the others,” he said.

Omechi added that the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has failed to protect the workers right and are instead working with the management to frustrate the employees.

“They have brokers within FKE and they are the ones misguiding them and now it is working against them.”

“We are ready to bring business down if we have to, we are not going to relent, we want our money, not in the banks but in envelops,” he observed.

When reached for comment over the crisis, Tuskys Managing Director Stephen Mukuha told Capital FM News that he could not speak to a stranger and declined to offer an interview opportunity.

The supermarket chain has been facing a myriad of problems this year after directors accused each other of embezzling funds.

However in a court ruling in November over the row, they were ordered to settle their commercial disputes out of court.

“In the spirit of reconciliation since it is clear that the business is a family venture, it is in their interest to mutually but genuinely and honestly engage each other with a view to arriving at an amicable solution to the issue affecting them otherwise all them stand to lose,” Judge George Odunga admonished in his ruling.

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