Four companies, including cement maker East African Portland Cement have announced nearly 1,700 job cuts in just about three weeks, shinning a spotlight on the worsening unemployment crisis in the country. FILE PHOTO | NMG Four companies have announced nearly 1,700 job cuts in just about three weeks, shinning a spotlight on the worsening unemployment crisis in the country.
The four firms – East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC), Telkom Kenya, Stanbic Bank of Kenya and East African Breweries Limited (EABL) – have already notified employees of the looming layoffs, citing the need to trim their payrolls.
The dismissals are expected to hit hard the affected households, as breadwinners lose their income at a time of rising costs of living.
The job losses, across four distinctive sectors of the economy, signal a widespread economic problem of stagnated job creation attributed to weak consumer demand, technological changes which have killed traditional occupations and stiff intra-industry competition from more technologically advanced rivals.
Stanbic Bank was the first about three weeks ago to announce a redundancy targeting an estimated 200 staff, while Athi River-based cement maker EAPCC last week said it would let go all its 800 workers.
The cement processor in another statement released on Friday withdrew the Thursday statement, with the CEO clarifying that the company would need to comply with labour laws with regard to the redundancy of unionisable employees.
Portland Cement had declared redundant all jobs, including those of top management, effective October.
EAPCC managing director Stephen Nthei is scheduled to have a meeting with all staff on Friday to elaborate on the matter.
Mr Nthei last week said roles will be merged to have a headcount of not more than 600 staff while those rehired will have to take a 40 percent pay cut.
"We have a workforce whose total cost, compared to the productivity, is very high. Our target is to operate with less than 600 people earning less than what they are earning now," said Mr Nthei.EAPCC spent Sh3.04 billion to pay its 936 employees in the financial year ended June 2018, a 96 per cent jump from Sh1.56 billion spent on 1,265 employees the previous year. Profit warning The firm has issued a profit warning for the financial year ended June 2019 after half-year losses widened by 30.7 per cent to Sh1.26 billion.The board attributed this on increased input prices, a sluggish market as well as production challenges arising from […]