Chandarana Supermarkets staff get 10pc salary increase plus perks

A Chandarana Supermarket branch in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
A Chandarana Supermarket branch in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE 

Chandarana Supermarkets has signed a deal awarding its 435 unionisable staff a 10 per cent salary increase, a move set to raise its wage bill.

Workers at the retailer will also get higher housing, transport and night shift allowances and are entitled to an annual paid leave of 26 days, according to the fresh two-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) backdated to March this year.

The pay deal was signed on Friday last week between the Kenya Union of Commercial, Food and Allied Workers (Kucfaw) and the Chandarana Group of Supermarkets.

The employees will get an eight per cent wage increase in the second year.

“All unionisable employees confirmed in the appointment by February 28, 2015, shall get a general wage increase of 10 per cent,” reads the CBA co-signed by Chandarana’s managing director Dipan Thakkar and seen by the Business Daily.

The retail chain declined to reveal how much it would cost to implement the new employment terms.

Cashiers at Chandarana will now earn a basic monthly pay of Sh24,820 and are entitled to free accommodation from the retailer or a house allowance equivalent to 17 per cent of the basic wage. This is higher than a cashier’s monthly basic pay at Nakumatt (Sh22,321) and Tuskys (Sh24,000).

Night shift meal allowance will be Sh100 and those who work overtime will be paid at 1.5 times the normal hourly rate. Female employees have also won a three-month maternity leave while their male counterparts are now entitled to a 14-day paternity leave.

Chandarana is a family-owned retailer operating nine outlets in Kenya. It has grown from a tiny grocery store started in 1964 in Eastleigh, Nairobi.

It joins a list of Kenyan retailers which are facing rising staff costs as a result of signing new pay deals with Kucfaw. Ukwala in January allowed its 777 workers to join Kucfaw and was due to begin negotiating its first CBA.

The talks were suspended after Botswana retailer Choppies’ bid to acquire the supermarket chain.

Nakumatt in September last year awarded its 4,500 unionisable employees a 12 per cent salary increase. Tuskys Supermarkets’ 7,000 employees went on strike in December 2013 demanding a 10 per cent pay rise and allowances, months after they joined the trade union and negotiated a fresh pay deal.

Uchumi was in trouble in October 2013 when about 3,500 workers threatened to down their tools if the management failed to honour a CBA that awarded staff a 10 per cent salary increase.