Unrest at Tuskys as workers go without pay for months

Unrest at Tuskys as workers go without pay for months

Tuskys Ntinda branch in Kampala remains closed like all the other four branches of the Kenyan retail chain in the Ugandan capital. PHOTO | MORGAN MBABAZI | NMG Tuskys is on its deathbed, and its survival is entirely dependent on ongoing efforts to revive the erstwhile regional giant retail chain.

The retailer has not paid thousands of its direct and outsourced employees in July and August, with salary arrears topping an estimated at Ksh320 million ($3.2m).

In Uganda, Tuskys has already shuttered doors to its five branches at Bugolobi, Nakulabye, Makerere, Ntinda and Kitintale, marking an end to the retailer’s 11-year presence in the market.

Five Ugandan branches closed, employees’ salaries months in arrears, and a liquidation case unfolding in court.

Tuskys is on its deathbed, and its survival is entirely dependent on ongoing efforts to revive the erstwhile regional giant retail chain.

Over 6,000 jobs are at risk, with a recent announcement of a Ksh2 billion ($20 million) debt from an undisclosed Mauritian fund doing little to ease mounting claims facing the retailer, including landlords who are increasingly getting impatient.

The Kenya government, which has been monitoring the Tuskys’ state of financial affairs on a weekly basis, says no “tangible” progress has been made in the turn-around efforts.

“We are obviously monitoring the alternatives and measures that they have taken to see whether they are sufficient to keep it running as they resolve the problems. Yes, things are not good. I don’t like to see businesses suffer but there is also a limit which you can try to rescue it,” said Betty Maina, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in-charge of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development, in an interview with The EastAfrican .

Correspondence between the retailer and the workers’ union shows desperate attempts to avert a go-slow as the employees claim pay arrears dating months back.

Senior managers are jumping ship, the latest being Patrick Mugo James, who was in charge of security and loss control, and whose exit was announced to staff on Wednesday, September 2.

The retailer has not paid thousands of its direct and outsourced employees in July and August, with salary arrears topping an estimated at Ksh320 million ($3.2 million).In a letter to the Tuskys management seen by The EastAfrican , the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW) queried why some employees had not been given their portion of July wages and warned the retailer against discrimination and unfair labour […]

Stay in the Know!

Sign up for the latest news and information on African Companies and Economy.

By signing up, you agree to receive MoneyInAfrica offers, promotions and other commercial messages. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply

*