More than 100 former employees of a company associated with Opposition leader Raila Odinga have sued it over alleged failure to pay their dues totalling to over Sh150 million.
The workers said in court documents that Spectre International Limited has failed to pay the amount, dating back to 2017, despite several demands and meetings where suggestions to come to an amicable solution were discussed.
As a result of the non-payment, the former workers say they have been rendered paupers, living under the constant threat of eviction from their rental houses since their December 7, 2017 termination on redundancy grounds.
The workers alleged that some of the claimants had died after falling into depression while others could not raise enough cash for fare to court for the hearing of the case.
They are demanding Sh73,592,868 in salary arrears, Sh31,238,187 in unremitted provident funds form their salaries.
Their lawyer, Moses Omondi, added that Spectre failed to remit Sh11,474,727 in sacco dues as well as severance pay after computation of the same and agreement of pay.
Spectre, he said, also owes the former employees Sh35,669,847 redundancy pay.
Mr Omondi claimed that despite issuing several pay demand and notice to sue, the company had refused to homour its obligations.
“They (ex-workers) tried through the Labor (county) office to implore upon the respondent to honour the severance pay but the efforts were futile owing to blatant neglect, disinterest and impunity on the part of the company,” said Mr Omondi.
They attached a letter they addressed to the Kisumu County Labour office dated June 22, 2018 in their court documents.
Mr Omondi argued that failure by Spectre to pay the ex-employees their dues amounts to breach of employment contract.
The factory reportedly closed in 2017 and all employees rendered redundant left the facility.
Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Nduma Nderi scheduled March 2 as the mention date.
Spectre, which produces molasses, is located on Kisumu’s Busia Road and has not been in operation for months.