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Industrial Court orders tea firms to reinstate sacked staff

Multinationals have been stopped from dismissing more workers following violent protests that led to the killing of a protester and the burning of more than 70 acres of tea.

The Industrial Court in Kericho ordered the firms to reinstate more than 2,000 employees and restrained them from evicting the workers from company houses.

The court stopped Eastern Produce Kenya from implementing disciplinary processes aimed at dismissing workers who participated in last week’s strike to demand the implementation of a 30 per cent salary increase.

AWARDED PAY RAISE

The tea workers were awarded the raise six months ago, and it was to be implemented in two phases of 15 per cent each.

Some companies moved to court to challenge the award, arguing that it would increase the cost of production.

The Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union filed a case on Thursday after Kapsumbeiwo Tea Estate sacked workers who went on strike.

The union’s deputy secretary-general Thomas Kemboi and Nandi branch secretary Eliakim Ochieng’ sought the orders after the companies summarily dismissed permanent and casual employees who took part in the strike.

The court issued a five-day notice to the tea companies to respond to the application by the union and fixed December 16 as the hearing date for the case.

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