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Nakumatt Nairobi workers protest six-month pay delay

Some of the Nakumatt Supermarket workers who took part in the demonstration in the city centre on December 7, 2017. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
Some of the Nakumatt Supermarket workers who took part in the demonstration in the city centre on December 7, 2017. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

A section of Nakumatt Supermarkets employees in Nairobi branches Thursday downed their tools to protest delayed salaries of over six months as the retailer continues to struggle with debts.

Nakumatt is said to have paid the workers only 30 per cent of their June salaries and failed to update their deductions with the workers’ social and pension schemes.

About 100 workers in Nairobi held a demonstration along Kimathi Street and City Hall Way to press for their pay even as the retailer is currently pursuing a rescue plan with Tuskys.

They represented workers from various departments including supervisors, shop assistants, marketing, and cashiers.

“It seems they (Nakumatt) want to frustrate us with no salaries and benefits so that we resign and if we resign now they would not give us anything, we have seen our colleagues who have gone the same way,” said Edwin Kemboi, a cashier at Nakumatt Ridgeways.

But Nakumatt management said they only owed the workers dues for four, and not six, months.

“As you may be aware the company is facing some lean times, which are, however, under active management. The company regrets that we have had a four-month delay in settling all staff dues. We are, however, sparing no effort to ensure that the challenges are addressed as soon as possible,” said, Atul Shah, the chain’s managing director.

Mr Kemboi said: “We are demanding that they (Nakumatt) update our pension so that those who are not ready to work with them again we proceed and take our dues.”

Another worker Evans Kamundi said he has been working for the retailer since 2006, but his pension scheme records show Nakumatt stopped updating his payments in August 2016.

Mr Kamundi’s payslips as seen by the Business Daily show Nakumatt has been deducting him his pension, sacco and insurance contributions among other benefits.

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