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KMC employees down tools over salary arrears

Over 400 employees of the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) demonstrated and blocked the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway on Friday to demand for sh60 million in salary arrears.

The employees, who claim they have not been paid for the last three months, blocked the road causing a major traffic snarl up before they were dispersed by riot police from Athi River police station.

“Most of our children have been sent away from the schools due to lack of school fees and other related problems,” said Agnes Mbithe who has worked in the company for seven years.

“Despite deduction done through the payslips, most of our dues have not been remitted to the relevant institutions like bank loans, NSSF, KMC SACCO and we have been served with notices to clear or have our property auctioned.”

KMC senior managers sneaked from the factory premises as soon as the employees downed their tools.

Mr Felix Kosgey, the cabinet secretary for Agriculture, had promised to inject sh700 million to boost the corporation but no funds have been availed so far.

Instead, the cabinet secretary has disclosed that close to 200 employees are likely to loose their jobs in the proposed restructuring programme.

Last month President Uhuru Kenyatta said the government had set aside sh600 million in the coming budget to restructure the debt ridden meat processor and return it to profitability.

Sources confirmed to Nairobi News that very little activity has been going on for the last six months after Livestock farmers stopped supplying cattle to demand for sh20 million in unpaid dues.

The employees led by Simon Kimeu, the Athi River branch secretary of the Kenya Union of Commercial food and allied workers, insisted that they will not resume work until all their grievances are addressed.

“Our families are suffering due to lack of food and other necessities while staff members with hospital related problems is suffering due to lack of medical scheme,” said Mr Kimeu in a letter addressed to Athi River deputy county commissioner Mose Makori.