Finlays counts huge losses from workers’ strike, attacks

Tuesday October 31 2017

Firemen put out fires lit by striking workers of the Finlays Tea Estate on October 30, 2017. PHOTO | ANITA CHEPKOECH | NMG

Firemen put out fires lit by striking workers of the Finlays Tea Estate on October 30, 2017. PHOTO | ANITA CHEPKOECH | NMG 

By ANITA CHEPKOECH
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Agricultural multinational James Finlays has incurred losses running into millions of shillings following its workers’ strike that has brought its tea processing business to a halt and led to the destruction of its property.

The company lost Sh6 million worth firewood to a fire started by unknown people on Sunday night.

Mr Sammy Kurui, the company general manager for corporate affairs, said the incident at Kaproret estate under Ketumbe group in Bomet County was the latest in the series of attacks for weeks in a row.

“We are today counting losses amounting to about Sh6 million in terms of firewood. Within this strike period, we also have other damages to management houses including breakage of window panes, beating up employees suspected to turn up to work,” said Mr Kirui.

Damage caused by by striking workers of the Finlays Tea Estate in Kericho on October 30, 2017. PHOTO | ANITA CHEPKOECH | NMG

A man assesses damage caused by by striking workers of the Finlays Tea Estate in Kericho on October 30, 2017. PHOTO | ANITA CHEPKOECH | NMG

Spokesman of the 15,000 employees, Dickson Sang, denied being involved.

The workers are part of the 40,000 from various tea companies in Kericho, Nandi and Bomet who are pushing for the implementation of the 2015/16 collective bargaining agreement that seeks a 30 per cent salary increment.

“We have a right to protest and have the protection of the court,” said Mr Sang.


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