Counties

No let-up in Chemelil staff salary protests

strike

Chemelil Sugar Company workers hold protests at their factory to demand for their accumulated salary arrears on July 28, 2021. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NMG

Summary

  • The stalemate between the over 700 workers and the management also roped in transporters and farmers who protested that the continued shutdown of the miller was threatening their harvests.
  • The contracted and permanent employees switched off the machines and blocked transporters from accessing and delivering cane to the factory.
  • Managing director Gabriel Nyangweso termed the industrial action as illegal, accusing the union officials of failing to issue notice as stipulated by law.

Operations at Chemelil Sugar Company were paralysed for the second day yesterday after workers downed their tools to demand salary arrears.

The stalemate between the over 700 workers and the management also roped in transporters and farmers who protested that the continued shutdown of the miller was threatening their harvests.

Despite reporting to work on time, the contracted and permanent employees switched off the machines and blocked transporters from accessing and delivering cane to the factory.

Managing director Gabriel Nyangweso termed the industrial action as illegal, accusing the union officials of failing to issue notice as stipulated by law.

“It is wrong to incite workers who are ready and willing to deliver their services to be part of an illegal action. Those who are not prepared to work should vacate the premises or risk having action taken against them," said Mr Nyangweso who was accompanied by a contingent of security officers.

But the workers vowed that they would not allow the troubled miller to crush canes until all their arrears are cleared.

“This is the only language the management can understand. It is unfortunate that the company has been paying us a third of our salaries since 2019,” said James Agumba, an employee of the company.

He called on the Ministry of Agriculture to urgently find a way of clearing their arrears which amount to millions of shillings.