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Tuskys staff union moves to stop sacking of 25

A workers’ union has taken Tuskys Supermarkets to court, seeking to stop the sacking of its members after the retailer closed one of its outlets in Eastleigh, Nairobi, early this month.

The Kenya Union of Commercial Foods and Allied Workers fears that its workers could lose their jobs  as they have not been absorbed into other Tuskys outlets as had been promised even as the retailer maintained that the 25 staff are on paid leave.

The union, in court filings, says Tuskys should be barred from outsourcing for similar services as it would amount to discriminating against the employees whose contracts are still in force.

“That this application be certified as urgent and heard as ex-parte in the first instance as 25 of the applicant members risk losing their jobs by way of redundancy while the respondents continue to outsource core functions within its business to the disadvantage of employees with who they have a direct contract which is unfair labour practice,” reads part of court filings by the union’s secretary-general Boniface Kavuvi.

STILL IN PAYROLL

“That there be a stay of a redundancy for 30 days pending the hearing of the application on April 7, 2015,” pleads Mr Kavuvi.

The case is before the Industrial Court.

Tuskys chief operations officer Peter Leparacho confirmed that he had been served with the papers but maintained that no job losses were expected as the affected staff were still on the retailer’s payroll.

He said plans were under way to reopen the store in coming weeks.

When the Eastleigh branch was closed over a rent dispute Mr Leparacho had put Tuskys’ debt with the landlord at about Sh6.8 million, but sources indicated that the disputed amount was much higher.

Tuskys, which is Kenya’s second largest supermarket chain by number of stores, is a family business jointly owned by five brothers and two sisters.