More than 300 former employees of Primarosa Flowers Ltd based Athi River have disputed their recent sacking, terming it unconstitutional and a violation of their rights.
Addressing the press in Athi river town yesterday, they claimed that the Monday last week sacking by Primarosa was unprocedural since the company did not issue them with any notice.
Led by their spokesperson Kepha Simiyu, the former casual workers who earned Ksh10,000-Ksh20,000 per month lamented that they were sent packing through a fake letter dated April 22nd 2017.
“We were not psychologically prepared since we were never issued with any notice on the mass sacking apart from rumours that the company was planning to reduce the number of employees.” said Simiyu.
The casual workers who were from the production, grading, post-harvest, sprayers and pest disease and control departments further claimed that they were dismissed without payments. Simiyu further revealed that the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has since rejected the validity of the letter terming it “fake”.
KNA has since confirmed that the dismissal letters did not have the company’s official stamp and signature from the company’s Human Resource Manager who was alleged to have effected the sacking.
The workers blamed their sacking on the area Kenya Plantation Agricultural Workers Union officials for colluding with the company to effect the dismissals. “We are aware the company colluded with some officials to sack us for others to be hired and be paid cheaper wages and salaries,” said Simiyu.
They, however, revealed that they are willing to go home on condition that they are paid all their salary arrears, services and gratuity.
“Some of us have served this company for over 14 years and depended on this job. We are already suffering and cannot afford to fend for our families. My house has already been locked up for failure to pay rent,” lamented Josephine Kanini.
The Union’s area representative Lawrence Ombiro dismissed the claims saying that the employees had been sacked due to redundancy.
“The process of redundancy currently in progress is being handled by the deputy Secretary General of Kenya Plantation Agricultural Workers Union, the Executive Officer of Agricultural Employers Association, Machakos Labor office and officials from the Ministry of Labor Headquarters Nairobi. The branch office has no capacity to handle the matter,” said Ombiro.