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Finlays to sack 719 employees

By Nikko Tanui | November 20th 2020

More than 700 workers at the Kericho-based James Finlay tea will lose their jobs by the end of the year.

The tea company delivered the devastating news to the employees on Friday. 

The move will deal a blow to Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) since most of the affected employees belong to the union.

In a notice by the company's Human Resource Manager Daniel Kirui and copied to Kericho and Bomet KPAWU branch secretaries and labour officers, the firm indicated that the redundancy will be effective from December 31, 2020.

The affected employees are drawn from all the divisions within United Kingdom (UK) based company.

“This redundancy is a result of difficult business environment caused by among others low tea prices, low demand for various products and increased external costs,” said Mr Kirui.

He added: “Considering these and in order to remain sustainable, we have restructured some of our operations leading to some roles becoming superfluous.”

The HR director added that the redundancy process will be conducted in full compliance with the applicable Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) and labour laws, terms and conditions of employment and employees will receive their full terminal dues.

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“Affected employees will be notified appropriately giving details of what is payable as specified in the Collective Bargain Agreement,” said Mr Kirui.

He added that the company will do everything to help the employees to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“We will also endeavor to provide the affected employees with appropriate support including access to our counseling services up to their exit,” said Kirui.

KPAWU Kericho branch executive Dickson Sang said they will issue a comprehensive statement in due time.

James Finlay’s move to fire employees is a second in a row after it fire 1,700 workers last year after the closure of Chemirei and Tarakwet flower farms.

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