Uchumi workers to close shop over pay
The-Star.co.ke - Oct 31st 2013, 08:23
Uchumi supermarkets could grind to a halt next Wednesday if employees make good their threat to down their tools. The Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers has issued a strike notice dated October 9 to pressurise the supermarket chain's management to meet workers' demands for higher pay.
According to KUCFAW, Uchumi entered a collective bargaining agreement in May to raise the basic minimum wages for its employees by 10 per cent.
"This is to inform you that failure to address the grievances will leave us with no option but to withdraw labour without further notice," the notice signed by union secretary general Boniface Kavuvi says.
Among other things, the CBA for local Uchumi branches provides that the payrise be backdated to July last year along with house allowance of 25 per cent of gross pay and a 15 per cent transport allowance.The union is now accusing the chain's top officials of reneging on the agreement.
"Many Uchumi employees are still being paid below the basic minimum wage and the low salaries are in violation of the newly enforced minimum wage law," Kavuvi says.
Under the new CBA, a cleaner, the lowest paid Uchumi worker, is to get a basic pay of Sh8,800 excluding house and transport allowance.
Accounts clerks and cashiers are entitled to take home Sh19,500.The union says Uchumi employees earn less than their Nakumatt and Tuskys colleagues.
Uchumi has 28 outlets, about 1,000 unionisable employees and posted a net profit of Sh357 million in the first half of this year, with sales of Sh14.3 billion. Kavuvi says KUCFAW is still open for dialogue with Uchumi stakeholders.: From The-Star.co.ke
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