Court stops reinstatement of sacked Finlays workers

Gatembu Kairu
Justice Gatembu Kairu. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

Multinational agricultural company Finlays, whose operations are based in Kericho, can breathe a sigh of relief after the Court of Appeal in Nyeri suspended execution of a Labour Court ruling that would have seen the firm reinstate 286 workers sacked three years ago.

A three-judge bench comprising Justices Gatembu Kairu, Sankale ole Kantai and Fatuma Sichale allowed an application by the company's flower farm and its owner James Finlay seeking stay of execution of the order suspended judge Marete Njagi delivered on February 1.

The 286 workers will not be reinstated pending hearing and determination of an appeal against the judgment which required the ex-workers returned to employment without loss of emoluments, promotion and benefits.

In its application, the company submitted that it had an arguable appeal since the judge did not consider parameters defined under Section 49 of the Employment Act before ordering reinstatement.

The firm said the judge did not consider that the employees had gone on strike in contravention of the orders of the court and that they failed to turn up for disciplinary hearing.