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Over 200 People Rendered Jobless After Being Dismissed By Polysack Limited.

An employee of Polysack Company in Thika of Kiambu County addresses the press outside their factory in Kamenu along Thika  Garissa Highway when they held peaceful demonstration demanding justice.
Over 200 employees of Polysack Industry Limited in Kamenu Ward of Thika West Sub-County have been summarily been sack without benefit, some of whom having worked for the company for over 3 decades.

While demonstrating for their dues, next to the company’s gates along the Thika-Garissa Highway, the striking workers accused the management of abuse of workers’ rights and low pay.

James Weru, who has been an employee at the factory for the last five years accused the management of treating them like slaves.

“As workers of this company, we have endless grievances that have for long not been addressed even after presenting them to our bosses. We are usually overworked, paid irregular and low salaries. Our statutory deductions never remitted to relevant departments of the government, notwithstanding working without protective gear and other essential equipment. Our CBA agreed upon and signed 3 years ago has never been implemented,” said Weru. 

Weru said the current tug of war started on February 1 when the workers demanded for their January pay. He alleged that instead of the management honouring their part of the bargain, the workers were forcefully ejected by riot police called by the management.

“We had agreed that our salaries be paid and all employees unconditionally resume work on February 4. This date was pushed to February 6th. Unfortunately, when we reported to work on the 6th, we were shocked to get their January salaries cheques being accompanied with dismissal letters,” lamented Weru.

The workers took their cheques but declined to take the firing letters until.

The angry workers took to the streets after they realised that their company bank, Eco Bank Thika Branch had instructions not to pay any cash.

Weru claimed that the bank staff notified them that they were under instructions not to honour any open cheques.

“They told us to go and deposit the cheques in our respective accounts in other banks as Eco Bank could not cash the cheques to persons who were not signatories to their account,” he said. 

He added that they have been frequenting the Kiambu leadership offices for arbitration since last October without any success.
Some of the workers demonstrating outside the factory gate.

“We are now appealing to our Governor William Kabogo to come to our rescue. Majority of us do not want to go back to the company for obvious reasons but are just following up with our statutory terminal dues. Some of us have worked for 30 years and want to know our fate,” said Weru.

He requested the company to honor a CBA signed 3 years ago.

Alice Wangui who has worked at the company for 30 years said they had been kicked out of their rental houses due to rent arrears.

“Our children are at home as we have not cleared their school fees. Even Kiosk operators and mama mbogas have stopped lending us goods on credit because of our unreliability,” said Alice. 

She added that the company ferried its employees in lorries, exposing them to untold suffering and health risks especially the pregnant mothers.  She reckoned that she was now too old to get another job and was therefore entitled to her full terminal dues. 

Aron Ongori complained of being slapped with regular penalties by their landlord for late payment of their rent.

“We are requesting Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i to nab and prosecute the managers of this factory for disabling workers and rendering us unable to take our kids to school,” said Julius Ogeto.
Efforts to get a comment from the management were nugatory as the company gates remained closed and guards instructed not to allow the press into the premises.

A staffer who requested anonymity referred the press to the factory personnel and human resources Manager Nicholas Maina who declined to comment.

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