The omen is indeed bad for the already not only struggling but also loss making retailer Tuskys Supermarkets.
Tuskys workers’ union has petitioned against the retailer’s plans to layoff of 80 employees.
The Kenya Union of Commercial Foods and Allied Workers wants the retailer to opt for unpaid leave during the period of Covid-19 instead of firing redundant staffs.
The union petitioned the court to stop the redundancies because the retailer was increasing its reliance on outsourced staff.
In a latter dated May 22 and seen by Mahakamani.new, Tuskys informed the Labour ministry of its intention to declare 80 workers redundant.
The retailer cited reduced business due to the effects of measures to limit the spread of Covid-19, setting stage for layoffs from June 21.
The suit comes in a period when the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has ordered Tuskys to settle supplier debts amounting to Sh1.29 billion by between July 1 and July 16, highlighting the cash flow crunch at the retailer.
“The respondent cannot be allowed to declared redundancies when at the same time retaining a large number of outsourced labour as this means that regular employees who are union members are not wanted,” says union’s secretary-general Boniface Kavuvi in the court papers.
“That where the redundancy is inevitable, this court do order the respondent to observe the principle of last-in-first-out in the selection of employees to be affected looking at the entire labor force including outsourced labour,” the union told the court.
The retailer in April closed four branches due to low customer numbers in the wake of the virus
The High Court will tomorrow (Wednesday) issue orders on the layoff plan pending the conclusion of the suit.
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