Portland now to retain 600 workers

An aerial view of East African Portland Cement plant at Athi River. [File, Standard]
East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) now says it will maintain 600 of its 1,000 employees in the ongoing company restructuring process.

Acting Managing Director Stephen Nthei said yesterday the loss-making cement maker would reconfigure workers’ roles with current employees retained or let go based on a performance appraisal system.   

“At the end of the process, the current employees will apply for newly configured jobs as will be defined in the new structure on contract basis,” he said in a statement.

"This will reflect a performance-based appraisal system as the company crystalises on a plan to operate with not more than 600 persons."

Last week, EAPCC sent a memo to workers informing them of the restructuring exercise that it said would involve all contract and permanent employees being declared redundant and having to reapply for their positions.

"As a result of the restructuring programme, all positions in the company will be declared redundant and the employees released,” said the memo in part.

"Subsequently, all jobs will be reconfigured in terms of job consolidation and enrichment in line with the restructured and leaner organisation structure." The memo was, however, withdrawn later, with the firm saying it would issue a replacement notice on the intended company restructuring and staff rationalisation exercise.

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Yesterday, Mr Nthei said the company had held consultation with relevant stakeholders to ensure the process is carried out fairly with the affected staff offered a severance package.  

“This is a progressive staff rationalisation exercise which recognises the criticality of the current core workforce in the continuous operations of the company,” said the MD.

“We will manage this process fairly, equitably without any discrimination and in the best interest of all parties involved to ensure that no adverse negative impact will be felt while simultaneously serving our customers.”  

The company last week revealed it had been recording Sh8 million in daily losses, worsening its already bleak financial position, making its turnaround strategy untenable. The restructuring programme, Mr Nthei said, will be implemented on a phased basis to ensure that normal operations are not disrupted.

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East African Portland Cement Company600 workers