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Labour Court bars Unilever from sacking workers

By Nikko Tanui | August 4th 2016

KERICHO, KENYA: Unilever Tea Company has been stopped by the employment and labour relations court from firing its employees who participated in the recent strike which rocked the multinational company.

Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) through its counsel Mesherk Khisa moved to the court under certificate of urgency on August 1 to stop the UK based company from victimizing its workers.

"Upon perusal of supporting affidavit of one Thomas Kipkemoi, interim orders is hereby issued restraining the respondents, its agents, assigns and representatives from effecting cause notices, disciplinary action or victimising any employee for participating in the strike between 12 and 23 July," said Justice Marete Njagi.

The judge gave the company 14 days to file its response to the suit.

The workers had gone on strike to press the company to implement the 30 per cent pay increase they had been awarded by the courts after two years protracted court battle.

Calm had returned to the south rift company after the company's managing director Duncan Stickler and Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary General Francis Atwoli signed a return to work formulae for the workers on July 24.

In the deal which saw the company settle for 15 per cent interim pay increase for the workers for the year 2014-2015, the parties had also agreed that no worker would be victimised for participating in the strike.

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