Kenya’s East African Portland Cement dismisses workforce -media

NAIROBI, Aug 9 (Reuters) – East African Portland Cement has dismissed all 800 of its workers but plans to rehire some at lower wages, Kenyan media reported on Friday.

An internal memo written by acting managing director Stephen Nthei said the cement maker planned to rehire 600 of its 800 staff, but on 40 percent of their previous pay, the Daily Nation newspaper reported.

“We have a workforce whose total cost compared with productivity is very high,” Nthei was quoted as saying.

The cement maker did not respond to a request for comment on the report.

Portland is 52 percent owned by the government and LafargeHolcim owns a 41.7% stake.

Portland swung to a pre-tax profit of 6.96 billion shillings ($67.41 million) in the year to end June 2018 after a loss of 1.71 billion shillings in the previous year.

It has not released figures for fiscal year 2019.

It said last year it held a market share of 11%.

Portland’s rivals include Bamburi Cement and National Cement Company, which in May signed a deal to buy ARM Cement after its was put under administration last August by creditors over debts totalling $190 million. ($1 = 103.2500 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by George Obulutsa; editing by Maggie Fick and Jason Neely)

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