300 flower farm workers protest over sacking, say move violated their rights

More the 300 flower farm workers in Athi River have protested after they were sacked on Monday last week. They said the move by Primarosa Flowers Ltd was unconstitutional and a violation of their rights. They claimed they were dismissed without payments.

The employees said the company did not prepare them psychologically or issue notice before firing them.

“We were never issued with any notice on the mass sacking, apart from rumours that the company was planning to cut the number of employees,” spokesman Kepha Simiyu said.

They addressed the press in Athi River town on Friday. The sacked workers were from production, grading, post-harvest, sprayers and pest and disease control departments. Simiyu said the company sent them packing through a “fake” letter dated April 22, 2017.

He said the letter does not have the company’s official stamp and signature of the human resources manager. Simiyu said NSSF had rejected validity of the letter and termed it ‘fake’. They said the company had not paid them their April salaries.

“We are willing to go home, but the company needs to pay us all our salary areas, services and gratuity,” Simiyu said.

They said some have served the company for 14 years and depended solely on the salaries they earn. They said they earn between Sh10,000-20,000. They blamed their sacking on the Kenya Plantation Agricultural Workers Union, which they claimed colluded with the company to effect the dismissals. But Union representative Lawrence Ombiro dismissed the claims, saying the employees were sacked due to redundancy.

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