The giant Oserian flower-growing company in Naivasha has sacked more than 2, 500 of workers in what was described as part of the company’s restructuring plan.
The workers, who the company says were on contract terms, have since been directed to collect their dues from their respective bank accounts.
The workers, however, denied the claims saying they were laid off after they declined new terms from a private company that had been hired to outsource their services by the Oserian Flower Company.
They told the press that for the last two years, the company had been laying-off permanent employees and outsourcing their services using private companies in a move aimed at reducing an alleged high wage bill.
They at the same time accused the company management of taking advantage of high unemployment in Naivasha to terminate their services at will and with impunity terming the sacking as a calculated move to lower their salaries.
Through their spokesman Peterson Wanjala who was said to have worked in the farm for 15 years, the workers vowed to resist any move by the company to force them to work under the new terms which they claimed amounted to unfairness of the highest order.
The workers said the company was ready to hire hundreds of unemployed persons seeking for jobs at the company daily to replace them and pay them peanuts in total disregard of their human rights.
Area MCA Peter Pallang’a, who accompanied the workers, promised to raise the matter at the County Assembly noting that cases of abusing workers were on the rise in the area.
He further said that in the last few years, flower farms in the area have developed a tendency of hiring workers on contract and sending them home at will.
“The move to sack such a large number of workers at once would increase poverty levels in the County which would in turn impact negatively on the country’s economy,” noted.
However, when contacted, the farm’s Managing Director Neil Hellings denied the sacking claims and promised to release a full report on the matter through the company’s public relations manager.
The sacking comes barely two years after the neighbouring Sher Karuturi Flower Company closed its door and sent home more than 3, 000 of its workers after it was placed under receivership.