The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Tuskys Settles Part of Its Workers Outstanding Wages

TUSKYS workers are waiting to see whether they were paid 50 per cent of wage arrears owed to them by the company after the expiry of the December 31 deadline.

While acknowledging that some money has indeed been sent to their accounts, the representative for the workers, Samson Omechi however noted that the management combined the payout with December salaries and other dues therefore it is still unclear whether they paid half of the arrears as stipulated in a return to work formula signed on December 19.

"What they did is that they combined the December salaries with the payment so we are not sure whether it is indeed half. We are waiting to see the payslips so that we can know what percentage of the arrears they paid," said Omechi.

Tuskys owed its over 4,000 unionisable workers Sh35,000 each according to Omechi meaning that they would be entitled to Sh17,500 first installment pay by end December.

Omechi was doubtful that the money paid as part of the arrears settlement was half of the amount owed adding that the decision to combine it with the salaries was suspcious.

The retail chain which has recently faced a go-slow that culminated into a full blown workers strike on December 19 suffered losses to be well over Sh300 million as it was held during a peak shopping season.

According to the return to work formula signed between the Kenya Food and Commercial Workers union that represents the Tuskys staff and the management, the workers agreed to call off the strike after the management committed to pay the arrears in two installments one due end December and the other on January 31.

The arrears were backdated to March 1 and cover the period up to October 2013 when the management and the workers signed the first ever collective bargaining agreement.

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